Thu. Aug 5th, 2021
Johnny Richardson

DETROIT, MI – Johnny Richardson, 26-years-old, of Detroit, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, for his role in a scheme aimed at defrauding the State of Michigan, other states, and the U.S. Government of funds earmarked for unemployment assistance during the COVID19 pandemic.

According to court records, Johnny Richardson conspired with others including Brandi Hawkins—a former contract employee for the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency who pleaded guilty last month—to fraudulently obtain hundreds of thousands of government money that was intended to support individuals who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the plea agreement, Johnny Richardson, either himself or through others, filed fraudulent unemployment claims over the Internet in at least five states resulting in the fraudulent disbursement of at least $683,555 of funds intended for unemployment assistance during the pandemic.  Richardson provided Brandi Hawkins information on Michigan claims, and Hawkins subsequently used her insider access to fraudulently release payments on these claims. 

Richardson is scheduled to be sentenced on November 9th, 2021 at 11:00 am before United States District Judge Bernard A. Friedman.  Co-defendant Micahia Taylor is scheduled for a plea hearing on August 10th, 2021 at 11:30am.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Wyse. The investigation is being conducted jointly by the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, United States Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Unemployment Insurance Agency, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts.

If you would like to Join our Group on Facebook, you can find us at MI Crimes and Headlines or visit our Official page on Facebook. You can also find us on Instagram and Pinterest by clicking on either link.

Johnny Richardson

Facebook Comments

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap