Detroit man pleads guilty to unemployment fraud

United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Michigan
Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 16:54:37-04

DETROIT, MI (WXYZ) — Johnny Richardson, 26, of Detroit, has pleaded guilty 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 COVID-19 pandemic.

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

The Eastern District of Michigan's Attorney’s Office said Richardson was able to accrue at least $683,555 worth of funds by filing fraudulent unemployment claims over the internet in at least five states.

Richardson is scheduled to be sentenced on November 9 before United States District Judge Bernard A. Friedman.