Brooks man heading to prison for wire fraud | Local News | #phishing | #scams


VALDOSTA — A Brooks County man was sentenced to prison Thursday after pleading guilty to wire fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

Darrius Hollis, 28, of Quitman was sentenced to serve 42 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. The sentence included 30 months on the wire fraud conviction and 12 additional months to serve consecutively on a revocation of a supervised release Hollis was still serving for an earlier bank and wire fraud conspiracy conviction.

In addition, Hollis has to pay $42,667 in restitution to the Georgia Department of Labor. There is no parole in the federal system.

According to court documents, a United States Secret Service special agent was contacted by an individual in August 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 found 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. Instead, Hollis was in federal prison during most of the time, the justice department said.

Further investigation discovered Hollis used the identities of two victims to fraudulently apply for and receive unemployment insurance and Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money. Hollis admitted to the scheme and is responsible for a total of $42,337 in losses to Georgia and the United States, according to the statement.

The DOJ said 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 at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.



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