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Las Vegas man charged with illegally possessing unemployment debit cards issued by DETR

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Posted at 12:38 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 15:50:21-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas resident was arrested on July 31 on charges related to identity theft and possession of fraudulent unemployment benefits cards.

RELATED TO DETR: Las Vegas residents speak out about missing $600 unemployment benefit

Vincent Okoye, 38, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of possession of a counterfeit and unauthorized access device and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Okoye’s initial court appearance in federal court has not yet been scheduled.

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The complaint alleges that, on July 15, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Okoye’s residence in Las Vegas.

They found:

  • -Over 100 credit and debit cards not issued in Okoye’s name, including at least 11 debit cards issued by DETR and at least 12 debit cards issued by Arizona’s Department of Economic Security (DES).
  • Over $100,000 in U.S. Currency and U.S. Money Orders.
  • At least 24 pieces of mail from DETR, bearing various names and addresses.
  • Over 100 pieces of mail, bearing names and addresses not belonging to Okoye.
  • A forged Canadian passport.
  • Postal mailbox master keys.

The minimum statutory penalty for aggravated identity theft is two years in prison and the maximum statutory penalty for all counts charged in the Complaint is 12 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and U.S. Secret Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Fang is prosecuting the case.

HOW TO REPORT FRAUD

Individuals who believe that someone is fraudulently using their identity, as well as companies who believe that someone is fraudulently using the identity of their employees, to apply for unemployment benefits should file a complaint through the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) here and to DETR’s Fraud Report.

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 Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web complaint form.