Sunday, March 10, 2024

Prison Inmate Led Scheme Swindling U.S. Out of $550 Million in Covid Tax Credits, Feds Say; Former Air Force Police Officer at Edwards Air Force Base in California Convicted of Over $150,000 in Unemployment Insurance Fraud During the COVID-19 Pandemic, and other C-Virus related stories

Prison inmate led scheme swindling U.S. out of $550 million in Covid tax credits, feds say
A California prison inmate locked up on a gang-related murder conviction led a scheme that defrauded the U.S. government out of more than $550 million in Covid-era federal tax credits, prosecutors said.
The inmate, Kristopher Thomas, was also charged with running a drug trafficking operation from his cell at Kern Valley State Prison that shipped large amounts of methamphetamine to several states and smuggled fentanyl into that prison, court filings show.
Thomas’ mother, 55-year-old Kettisha Thompson-Dozier, and her spouse, Charmane Dozier, 44, who both live in Waldorf, Maryland, were charged with him in the tax credit scheme, along with Sharon Vance, 36, of Hawthorne, California, according to prosecutors.
All four defendants are charged in that case with conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims.
Five other people were charged with Thomas in the alleged drug trafficking scheme.
Thomas, 36, has been in prison since December 2010 following a murder conviction. He was sentenced to 50-years-to-life behind bars for the August 2009 killing in Los Angeles of Dequawn Allen, whom he shot after asking where Allen was from.
Thomas is a member of the Main Street Mafia Crips, a Los Angeles street gang, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, which is prosecuting him for both alleged schemes.
A criminal complaint accuses Thomas and his co-conspirators of filing, from early 2022 through July 2023, more than 400 payroll tax returns that claimed the employer retention credits in the names of fake businesses, and in the names of real companies that overstated the wages and numbers of workers they had.
The employee retention credits became a refundable federal tax credit for employers during the Covid-19 pandemic to encourage businesses to retain workers. The credit maximum was $5,000 per employee in 2020 and was increased to $7,000 per employee per quarter in 2021. --->READ MORE HERE
Former Air Force Police Officer at Edwards Air Force Base in California Convicted of over $150,000 in Unemployment Insurance Fraud During the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Trevon Miller, 31, a former Air Force Police Officer at Edwards Air Force Base, pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges today US DOJfor submitting fraudulent unemployment insurance claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between April 2020 and June 2020, Miller submitted fraudulent claims in several states using his former name of Trevon Rodney. Miller told the state agencies that administer the unemployment insurance system that he was unemployed when he was an active-duty Air Force Police Officer the whole time. The claims were worth more than $150,000 and the money was put onto debit cards that were mailed to Miller.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the U.S. Secret Service, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Barton and Arelis Clemente are prosecuting the case.
Miller is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17, 2024, by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Miller faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Nearly 500 deaths per day from excessive drinking during COVID-19 pandemic: CDC report

Long COVID could be the reason for your bad hangovers: research

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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