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Iowa man pleads guilty to COVID-19 related unemployment fraud, faces 10 years in prison


This news story was published on September 26, 2020.
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SIOUX CITY – A Le Mars, Iowa man who stole government funds using a COVID-19 unemployment scheme pled guilty today in federal court in Sioux City.

Dennis George Chinn, age 54, from Le Mars, Iowa, was convicted of theft of government funds.

In a plea agreement, Chinn admitted to falsely reporting his income, stating it was $150 per week so he could get an additional $600 weekly payment, and fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits related to COVID-19 relief funds to which he was not entitled. In total, Chinn obtained over $13,000 in COVID-19 pandemic CARES Act Iowa unemployment funds.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Chinn remains free on bond pending sentencing. Chinn faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the United States Department of Labor and the Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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2 Responses to Iowa man pleads guilty to COVID-19 related unemployment fraud, faces 10 years in prison

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 26, 2020 at 11:57 pm

    Over $13,000 that someone else who really needed it could/should have had. I hope he gets the full 10 years in prison!

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 27, 2020 at 7:42 am

      And is made to pay back the money with interest!