Woman Owns Up To Stimulus Check Fraud: Conspired With Son To Obtain ID To Apply For EIP Funds

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

The federal authorities have detected multiple instances of stimulus check frauds where false identities were used to get access to Economic Impact Payment funds under the CARES Act. One such instance was detected in Modesto when a woman admitted to her guilt in a federal courtroom to stimulus check fraud.

Sheila Denise Dunlap pleaded guilty to committing identity theft and wire fraud after she filed for over $145,000 worth of check claims, officially known as the Economic Impact Payments.

The CARES Act became law in March 2020. It was enacted to redress the severe economic adversity that befell most Americans following the pandemic. Individuals earning below $99,000 as per their 2019 tax returns or those whose earnings were low enough that they were not required to file an income tax return, were eligible for the EIP stimulus check.

The EIP stimulus check under this fund amounted to $1,200 for qualifying adults plus $500 for each qualifying child. 

Under the plea agreement, Sheila Dunlap owned up to conspiring to fraudulently obtain the personally identifiable information of persons and use that info to obtain stimulus checks. She was aided by her son who was in prison. They coordinated through text messages and phone calls.

Sheila Dunlap Used Stolen Personal Information To Claim The Stimulus Checks

Dunlap’s son is on Death Row at California’s oldest correction institution, the San Quentin State Prison.

Sheila Dunlap said she utilized the info to file for multiple stimulus checks through the online portal of the IRS. In every application, Dunlap used her personal account with Bank of America to collect the payments.

Her son obtained and mailed her the personal identification of over 9,000 individuals during April 2020.

As advised by her son, Dunlap filed for the stimulus check by starting with the identification details of the young persons in the list. They assessed that the youngest of the adults would not have sufficient income to have an income tax file.

Dunlap filed stimulus check claims that totaled $145,200. She admitted guilty to wire fraud on one count, which carries with it a sentence of twenty years along with a $250,000 fine.

Further, Dunlap pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, attracting 2 years of prison sentence and a fine of another $250,000.

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