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Former Michigan Contractor Sentenced 5 Years in $3.8M Unemployment Insurance Fraud Scheme

November 1, 2021

A former contractor for the state of Michigan has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for helping orchestrate a $3.8 million fraud scheme involving money intended to help unemployed people during the coronavirus pandemic.

A U.S. District Court judge in Detroit sentenced Brandi Hawkins, 40, to 58 months in federal prison and ordered her to pay $3,793,186 restitution to the state.

The Detroit woman, a former contract employee with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, had pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in June. Hawkins, who was charged last year, admitted receiving bribes from people to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims from April to June 2020, often using stolen identities.

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