Six more people were arrested in an ongoing probe into a $1 million multi-state unemployment fraud case, the Louisiana Attorney General's Office announced Tuesday.
This marks the second spate of arrests after the office announced a first round in October that included three suspects from Louisiana and another from Florida.
Louisiana Bureau of Investigation agents say they found out that people from multiple parishes conspired to defraud pandemic-related unemployment insurance in Louisiana and California.
Nearly 100,000 people received $405.3 million in unemployment benefits to which they were not entitled and the numbers are probably much large…
Investigators say the suspects filed scores of fraudulent online claims with the California Employment Development Department and the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
Over 100 false claims were filed with the California EDD, resulting in over $1 million in stolen unemployment funds, LBI estimates.
The arrestees are also accused of submitting fraudulent claims to the LWC, resulting in more than $60,000 in stolen cash.
The latest arrests include six Louisiana residents:
- Dynasty Rowe (26, of Maringouin) has been charged with Illegal Transmission of Monetary Funds, Criminal Conspiracy, and Government Benefits Fraud.
- Kendell Fowler (42, of Baton Rouge) has been charged with Illegal Transmission of Monetary Funds and Criminal Conspiracy.
- Miquel Banks (28, of Plaquemine) has been charged with Illegal Transmission of Monetary Funds, Criminal Conspiracy, and Money Laundering.
- Lasia Brock (20, of Thibodaux) has been charged with Illegal Transmission of Monetary Funds and Government Benefits Fraud.
- Ashley Johnson (32, of Prairieville) has been charged with Illegal Transmission of Monetary Funds, Criminal Conspiracy, Money Laundering, and Government Benefits Fraud.
- Darrolyn Bell (29, of Plaquemine) has been charged with Illegal Transmission of Monetary Funds, Criminal Conspiracy, and Government Benefits Fraud.
In addition, there are two outstanding warrants related to the fraud investigation for Adrienne Johnson, 37, of Prairieville, and Joseph Mitchell, 24, of Baton Rouge.
The state paid out $8.57 billion in unemployment benefits to 721,887 individuals in the year following the height of the pandemic – and $1.08 …
Anyone with information on where to find them is encouraged to call LBI at (800) 256-4506 or their local law enforcement agency.
LBI received requests for assistance about other allegations that eventually resulted in two other arrests last yaer.
- Cole Morden (24, of Denham Springs) has been charged with government benefits fraud. He is accused of knowingly causing the submittal of weekly certifications to the LWC and allegedly collecting over $800 in unemployment funds while incarcerated at the Livingston Parish Sherriff's Office Correctional Facility.
- Dana Ganaway (51, of Morgan City) has been charged with government benefits fraud. During an interview with LBI agents, she confessed to submitting false unemployment insurance claims and concealing her employment income for purposes to receive pandemic unemployment benefits. Ganaway allegedly received $8,000 in fraudulent unemployment benefits.
The arrests were made with help from the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office, DOL, and LWC.
Investigations are ongoing.
Anyone who knows someone fraudulently receiving funds from the Unemployment Trust Fund or who believe they have been a victim of fraud to report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721 or the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation.
More than 1,100 prisoners in Louisiana received $6.2 million in state and federal unemployment benefits that they did not appear to be eligibl…