20 From White County Indicted in Unemployment Insurance Scheme

by Gwen Moritz  on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 5:39 pm   1 min read

Twenty White County residents have been charged in federal court with wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud the unemployment benefits programs in Arkansas and 15 other states of more than $500,000.

Mark King, 53, of Judsonia is described as the ringleader in an indictment that was issued last week by a federal grand jury in Little Rock. King, nicknamed "Big Head," and co-defendants Alan Gentry and Benjamin Bradley were arrested Wednesday. Two more defendants were already in custody on unrelated charges — Natalie Floyd in federal prison and Mark Scheffler in the Arkansas Department of Correction.

The defendants who were arrested will be arrainged on Thursday. The rest will be summoned to appear in federal court on a later date, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland of the Eastern District of Arkansas.

The indictment alleges that King created fictitious employer business accounts in 16 states and falsely reported to the various state unemployment agencies that the businesses had paid wages to him and to co-conspirators. Then King and the co-conspirators, some of whom were not indicted, made claims for unemployment benefits.

Because King did not contest the claims, unemployment benefits were paid by the U.S. Department of Labor. The conspiracy, which lasted from June 2012 to August 2017, "resulted in a monetary loss exceeding $500,000," according to the announcement.

The other defendants are Tara Blair, James Gregory Bunker, Kristin Coburn, Cherrie Davis, Faith Donnell, Delanna Edwards, Brandy Harley, Joshua Jackson, Lisa Jones, Michael King, James Landis, William Damon Perkins, John Schnebly, Rachel Turner and Rhonda Turner. Company names used in the scheme included Diamond K Construction, JC Construction, King's Construction and Topline.



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