A federal judge sentenced a Rhode Island man previously convicted of sex trafficking to 30 months in prison Tuesday after he fraudulently pursued COVID-19 pandemic-related benefits while he was on supervised release, the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Mackenzy Scott, 26, tried to take federally-funded unemployment benefits from ten other states’ agencies by filing applications starting in March 2020 using his and other individuals’ names while lying about employment or residential status, the office said. Scott had received a 5-year prison sentence in 2016 for sex-trafficking two teenage girls with another man and was on supervised release for that case when his fraud activity was discovered.
Scott launched his application fraud spree the day after Congress enacted the CARES Act for COVID-19 economic relief, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported. Labor Department Inspector General Larry Turner estimated in February 2023 testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee that nearly 21.52% of total federal and state unemployment benefits under the CARES Act had been paid improperly.
Scott pleaded guilty in December 2022 to seven counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft, theft of government money and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and paying $16,336 in restitution.
The Rhode Island U.S. Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact [email protected].
Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation