GILMER, Texas (KETK) – An East Texas couple has been indicted in federal court for allegedly stealing identities to collect multiple stimulus checks that were provided by the CARES Act.
Dalton Brewer and Emilee Fenton, both 24, are charged with theft of government money and aggravated identity theft.
The CARES Act was passed back in March to distribute stimulus checks due to the financial impact of shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic. Most amounted to $1,200 for individuals along with an extra $500 for every child under 17.
The indictment alleges that the two stole more than $3,600 worth of stimulus checks from two victims.
More than $2 trillion was was authorized over various programs, with more than $560 billion going to individuals.
“It’s disheartening to see individuals and communities already facing challenges related to COVID-19 be targeted with crimes like these. Protecting the U.S. Mail and American public are priorities for Postal Inspectors, however, and these arrests are a product of that commitment.“Ketty Larco, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Fort Worth Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
If convicted, Brewer and Fenton face up to 15 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld.