US Department of Justice.

US Department of Justice.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas woman has been sentenced to 12 months and a day in federal prison for fraudulently applying for and receiving nearly $23,000 in unemployment benefits debit cards.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Los Angeles Region announced the sentencing on Thursday.

According to court documents, Deandra Michelle Smith, 36, used another person’s personal identification information and fraudulently applied for unemployment insurance benefits with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). Around February 2017, Smith falsely claimed that the victim had been laid off, when in fact the victim was employed. Smith also listed her own address on the benefits application, so she would receive the benefits debit card issued by DETR, and used the same victim’s personal information to renew the unemployment claim several times, the U.S. Attorney's announcement said.

Court documents say between March 2017 and August 2018, Smith used the DETR-issued unemployment benefits debit cards in multiple states, including Nevada, California, Texas, and Hawaii. In total, Smith fraudulently received $22,490 from DETR.

Smith pleaded guilty in November 2020 to one count of mail fraud. In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon sentenced Smith to three years of supervised release. 

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