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Quitman man sentenced for CARES Act fraud

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Posted at 9:08 AM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 09:08:34-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Darius Hollis, 28, of Quitman was sentenced to 42 months in prison and three years supervised release after pleading guilty to wire fraud.

Thirty months of the sentence are for the more recent wire fraud and the 12 additional months are on a revocation of supervised release Hollis was serving for an earlier bank and wire fraud conspiracy, according to the Middle District of Georgia United State's Attorney Office.

According to court documents, a United States Secret Service Special Agent was contacted by an individual in Aug. 2020, who believed Hollis was involved with filing fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.

"The U.S. Department of Labor ran a query of its claims database and discovered that an unemployment insurance claim seeking federal and state pandemic assistance was electronically filed in Hollis’ name stating that he had been working at a Quitman business and lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic,"stated the attorney's office. "In fact, Hollis was in federal prison during most of that claimed time period serving a sentence for a previous conviction, having been released from federal custody in late April 2020."

After further investigation, it was found that Hollis had used the identities of two people to apply for unemployment and Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds.

Hollis admitted to this and will be held responsible for $42,337 in losses.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.