TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced a Tampa woman was sentenced for using identity theft and device fraud to “defraud” state agencies and take COVID-19 unemployment insurance benefits.
Rolanda Wingfield, 39, was sentenced to three years in federal prison after being found guilty of “device fraud and aggravated identity theft.” USAO said Wingfield was ordered to pay $135,576 in restitution to “various state workforce agencies she defrauded.”
Wingfield pleaded guilty on April 26. Her use of false identity and fraudulent unemployment insurance claims to state agencies occurred from May to September 2020, according to USAO.
“Wingfield obtained the personal identifying information of others and used that information to submit, or cause the submission of, false and fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims to various state workforce agencies in order to obtain UI benefits to which she was not entitled,” USAO reported.
Wingfield then transferred the benefit funds to bank accounts, or “loaded onto debit cards issued in the names of others.”
After loading the funds into bank accounts and onto the debit cards, Wingfield tried to withdraw the funds at automated teller machines. In total, she “obtained $135,576,” accounting for the amount she now owes in restitution.