Virginia Woman Sentenced In Pandemic Benefits Fraud Scheme

ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia woman convicted earlier this year of charges connected with a scheme to defraud the U.S. government through fake claims for pandemic unemployment benefits has been sentenced to more than two years in prison, a federal prosecutor said.

Marissa Leanna Kiser, 27, of Saint Paul, was found guilty by a jury in February of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., fraud in connection with emergency benefits, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud in connection with emergency benefit, and aggravated identity theft. Kiser was sentenced on Tuesday today to 27 months in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said in a news release.

Kiser conspired with at least three people in the scheme, prosecutors said. Over a nine-month period, members of the conspiracy filed fraudulent claims with the Virginia Employment Commission on behalf of at least 37 individuals for a total loss of at least $499,000, the news release said.