Mississippi Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing Government Funds

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally taking unemployment benefits, authorities said Tuesday.

Misty Burgess, of Plantersville, entered the plea to one count of theft of government funds in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, State Auditor Shad White said in a news release.

Burgess applied for unemployment benefits in May 2020 using her sister's personal information, but her sister — at the time — was incarcerated at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility and therefore, ineligible for such benefits, the news release said. She is accused of receiving about $15,604 in fraudulent benefits, White's office said.

“This is one of the many unemployment compensation cases we’ve worked on in the last year,” White said. “We will continue to use the latest technology and methods, which has led to my team recovering more money in the last five years than any other five-year period in state history.”

Burgess will be sentenced Sept. 5 and faces up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.