Last month we learned that a contract employee for the State of Michigan by the name of Brandi Hawkins was charged in a scheme to steal upwards of $2 million dollars meant to be for Michigan’s unemployed.  According to the authorities when they searched her home they found $200,000 in cash.

Now the federal government has charged another State of Michigan employee and a Detroit woman in that same scheme. The Detroit News has reported that Jermaine Rose, a lead claims reviewer for the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, has been charged for allegedly using his powers to release payments on hundreds of fraudulent claims.  Those claims amounted to more than $1.1 million in federal and state funds.  Those funds were meant for people who have been unemployed since Governor Whitmer closed the businesses they worked for back in March.  Yesterday U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider's office announced these new charges.

Mr. Rose is accused of working with a woman from Detroit by the name of Serenity Poynter.  Ms. Poynter allegedly filed at least 25 fraudulent unemployment claims using different variations of her own name and fake social security numbers to make those false claims.

Many of her fake claims were identified by the state’s automated system but this is where Mr. Rose came in, he bypassed the fraud-stops which then lead to these claims being approved.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said in a statement:

“At a time when thousands of people in Michigan are out of work because of the pandemic, the defendants are charged with stealing unemployment benefits that should have gone to Michiganders trying to feed their families...Anyone who steals unemployment funds steals from the people of Michigan."

If found guilty I say lock-’em up and file that key in some Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency file cabinet.

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