The year 2020 has spawned a number of crimes involving false claims and forgery, but none appear to have been as broad as the criminal allegations recently made against a retired NFL receiver.
The alleged crimes
According to a federal indictment released by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kenbrell Thompkins, a former member of the Jets, Raiders and Patriots, is charged with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. The indictment alleges a scheme in which Thompkins is alleged to have used the identities of Florida residents to collect unemployment insurance benefits from the state of California.
The allegedly stolen funds were intended by California as supplemental unemployment insurance. The benefits were distributed in the form of debit cards which the beneficiaries were supposed to use to obtain the cash. The indictment alleges that Thompkins falsified his identity and had the cards sent to him at various addresses in South Florida from August 16 through September 23, 2020. The indictment further alleges that Thompkins used the cards to withdraw approximately $230,000 in cash at various ATMs in Minami-Dade County.
The media report on the indictment did not provide any details about how Thompkins allegedly stole the identities of the Florida residents whose names and addresses were used to obtain the debit cards.
Thompkins’ troubles apparently started in high school. He was expelled on three separate occasions. The third expulsion was imposed after Thompkins was arrested on drug-related charges.
What happens here on?
The defendant in this case is facing serious criminal charges. If convicted, he could receive a sentence including imprisonment, a fine and an order for restitution. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can evaluate the evidence, suggest potential defense strategies and when appropriate, negotiate an acceptable plea agreement with the prosecution.