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Southwest Virginia man sentenced to 9 years for role in pandemic unemployment fraud scheme

Authorities say he fraudulently filed more than $499,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits

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ABINGDON, Va. – On Tuesday, a Southwest Virginia man was sentenced to 9 years, or 108 months, in federal prison for his role in a pandemic unemployment fraud scheme that cost the U.S. hundreds of thousands of dollars.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 28-year-old Gregory Marcus Tackett, of Pound, Virginia, worked with others, including his girlfriend, to fraudulently file more than $499,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits.

Court documents reveal that the fraudsters worked to obtain the personal information of more than 35 co-conspirators, including 15 inmates in the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections. Within nine months, they filed claims for at least 37 individuals.

Back in April, Tackett pleaded guilty to the following three charges:

  • one count of conspiracy to defraud the government
  • one count of aggravated identity theft
  • one count of obstructing justice

At this time, authorities have not disclosed whether the other individuals involved are facing charges.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.