Kiln man used neighbors’ IDs to steal COVID benefits for gambling money
A Kiln man pleaded guilty to stealing identities to file for COVID related benefits and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Trevon S. Evans, 25, will be sentenced in June on wire fraud charges and faces up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine.
On Aug. 3, 2020, Evans was arrested by Hancock County Sheriff’s deputies on unrelated charges when he was found with multiple identification cards with different names.
An investigation showed that Evans had convinced elderly neighbors to give him personal information so he could “help” them receive COVID-related benefits. Instead, Evans used the information to apply for unemployment insurance under the Economic Security Act benefits in his neighbors’ names and had the benefits sent to his residence.
Evans then used the money, about $7,000, to gamble at casinos on the Coast.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Rose.
The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization that expands states’ ability to provide unemployment insurance for many workers impacted by COVID-19, including for workers who are not ordinarily eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.