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4 Baltimore-area residents charged with stealing $3 million in unemployment insurance

gavel
Posted at 11:34 AM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 11:34:47-04

BALTIMORE — Four Baltimore-area residents are charged with stealing more than $3 million in unemployment insurance benefits, through identity fraud.

The residents - Tyshawna Davis, 38, of Gwynn Oak; Tiia Woods, 44, of Cockeysville; Donna Jones, age 55, of Hanover; and Devante Smith, 27, of Baltimore - face up to 20 years in prison, after being indicted on federal charges of conspiracy and wire fraud related to a CARES Act unemployment insurance fraud scheme, announced the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The residents allegedly stole personal information from 8 victims to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. For example, one application used Davis' dead ex-husband's information. The money they got was used to buy two 2021 Mercedez-Benz cars, among other items.

At least 160 fraudulent claims were ultimately submitted.

There have been numerous charges since the COVID relief started of people fraudulently stealing money from it; this spring, a Baltimore man pleaded guilty to getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in CARES Act funding.