A man under federal supervision after being imprisoned for sex trafficking participated in a COVID unemployment scheme across the country, federal prosecutors in Rhode Island said Wednesday.
Mackenzy Scott, a 26-year-old from Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, stealing government money and identity theft, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Rhode Island.
Scott was released from federal prison in late 2019, but between March 2020 and May 2021, filed COVID-related federal unemployment claims under his name and other names in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii, officials said.
The scheme was discovered by a probation officer in February 2021, according to prosecutors.
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Anyone in Rhode Island who believes their identity has been stolen in an unemployment scam is urged to email state police at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the FBI at 401-272-8310.