Former NFL player is guilty of ID theft to gain COVID-19 relief benefit

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A former NFL wide receiver and South Florida native, Kenbrell Armod Thompkins, has pleaded guilty to stealing identities to fraudulently obtain coronavirus-related unemployment insurance benefits in California.

Thompkins was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New England Patriots in 2013 and has been a member of the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets.

Thompkins, 33, pleaded guilty in Miami federal court to one count of unauthorized access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Thompkins is sentenced to 12 years in prison at starting Jan. 6.

According to a plea agreement, Thompkins used the stolen identities of several Florida residents to obtain fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits from the state of California. California provided these unemployment benefit funds in the form of debit cards, which were mailed to addresses associated with Thompkins in Miami.

Thompkins then used these debit to withdraw funds at various ATMs in Miami-Dade County. The scheme involved approximately $300,000 in California unemployment insurance funds, out of which about $230,000 of the funds were withdrawn.

Congress passed the Covid Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act last year to help individuals and businesses financially survive the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the provision of federal funds to state unemployment insurance benefit programs. This article was originally sourced by