One McComb woman has been convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to receive federal unemployment insurance benefits and making a false statement to a federal agent.
According to court documents, 51-year-old Laketia Andrews conspired with Sedrick Pittman, Marcus Parker, Austin Bahm, and Calveshar Isaac to receive the benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, Pittman, Parker, Bahm, and Isaac were inmates housed at the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in the Mississippi Department of Correction’s custody.
The inmates fraudulently applied for federal unemployment insurance benefits by stating on their applications that they were able and available to immediately accept employment.
Due to the large number of applications for unemployment insurance, the fraudulent applications were not immediately detected, and benefits were approved for the group of prison inmates.
Following the approval, the benefits were sent by mail on debit cards to Crossley, who then transmitted the funds to Pittman through a cell phone.
Crossley later made false statements to special agents with the Department of Labor when questioned about her actions.
While Pittman, Parker, Bahm, and Isaac all pled guilty to various charges, Crossley asserted her right to a jury trial. After a three-day trial at the federal courthouse in Natchez, a jury found Crossley guilty of all charges.
As a result, Crossley has been charged with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiring to commit theft of public money, one count of theft of public money, and one count of making a false statement to a federal agent.
Crossley is currently scheduled to be sentenced at the federal courthouse in Natchez on June 1, 2023.