TALLAHASSEE, Fla.––Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law enforcement today announced the arrest of Ralph Alonso Everett Jr. and Isaiah Lewis, both from Miami, for allegedly organizing a scheme to steal teachers’ identities to collect unemployment checks. The defendants are responsible for losses to the State of Florida of more than $50,000.
With the assistance of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, law enforcement officers identified patterns of suspicious reemployment assistance claims being deposited into numerous bank accounts connected to the subjects. The investigation identified more than 100 employees associated with 65 different school districts as targets for reemployment assistance claims for nearly 11 months in 2016. The defendants also attempted to defraud DEO out of more than $200,000 in fraudulent claims. DEO distributed the funds into the bank accounts of Everett and Lewis and then the defendants withdrew the funds from ATMs throughout Miami.
Both defendants were booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.