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Ridgeland woman pleads guilty to unemployment fraud

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

A Ridgeland woman has pled guilty on charges related to unemployment fraud. 

Announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 71-year-old Judith Ann Middleton faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to ‘theft of government funds involving unemployment insurance benefits fraud.’

Court documents show that, in May 2020, unemployment insurance benefits from the state of Washington had been deposited in Middleton’s bank account under “other individuals’ names.” The unemployment insurance benefits were federally subsidized through the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washington officials have concluded that just under $650 million was lost due to the unemployment fraud throughout the early stages of the pandemic, roughly $370 million has been recovered. 

In Mississippi, State Auditor Shad White detailed that around $117 million was lost to fraud. 

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