Unemployment fraud case produces guilty plea to mail fraud charge

Local News

(The Associated Press)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to filing more than $250,000 in fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits in Nevada and California.

Antwine Demon Hunter, 24, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Nevada to a charge of mail fraud. Judge Andrew P. Gordon scheduled sentencing for Oct. 27, where Hunter faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He admitted to his part in the scheme from June 1 to Sept. 28 in 2020 to defraud the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) and the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Hunter and co-conspirators used personal information belonging to victims to submit 24 false unemployment claims in the two states. As part of the scheme, Hunter had DETR and EDD mail debit cards containing unemployment benefits — in violation of mail fraud laws. In total, more than $250,000 in unemployment benefits were approved, and at least $189,118 were withdrawn by Hunter.

Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Quentin Heiden of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Los Angeles Region made the announcement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Fang is prosecuting the case.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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