Smyrna Man Sentenced in $3.3 Million COVID-19 Unemployment Fraud Scheme

March 31, 2023
1 min read

The News: A Smyrna resident, Rowlando Hatter Jr., has been sentenced for his role in a $3.3 million multi-state COVID-19 unemployment insurance fraud scheme.

Hatter and his co-conspirator, Clyde Parker, used the personal identifying information of over 100 victims to fraudulently obtain benefits from state workforce agencies across five states.

What Happened?: According to prosecutors, Rowlando Hatter Jr. and Clyde Parker filed false claims for COVID-related unemployment insurance benefits using the stolen personal information of unsuspecting victims.

The scheme targeted state workforce agencies in Georgia, California, Arizona, Maryland, and Michigan. In total, more than 200 claims were submitted, causing these agencies to pay out approximately $3.3 million in fraudulent benefits between May and October 2020.

Why It Matters: The fraud committed by Hatter and Parker diverted funds from the CARES Act, a federal program designed to provide vital assistance to unemployed Americans during the pandemic. Their actions effectively removed potential assistance for citizens in need of support during a critical period.

What’s Next?: Rowlando Hatter Jr., 32, has been sentenced to five years and nine months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Hatter is also ordered to pay $2,930,410.50 in restitution. Clyde Parker, 32, was sentenced to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $596,348.50 in restitution.

The case was investigated by multiple agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General, Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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