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2 Gilmer residents plead guilty to stealing COVID-19 economic relief payments

Both residents were indicted by a federal grand jury on August 19, 2020.

TYLER, Texas — Two Gilmer residents have pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit identity theft, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei.

According to the attorney's office, on Tuesday, Emilee Fenton, 24, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully transfer, possess, and use a means of identification.

Credit: Attorney's Office
Credit: Attorney's Office

 Dalton Brewer, 24, pleaded guilty to the same charge on March 4, 2021.

Fenton and Brewer were indicted by a federal grand jury on August 19, 2020, and charged with conspiracy to unlawfully transfer, possess, and use a means of identification. 

According to the indictment, from at least November 2019 through June 2020, Brewer and Fenton conspired to possess and use the means of identification of other persons, including names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth, in connection with the theft of government money, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud, theft of mail, and fraudulent use or possession of identifying information. Fenton was also charged with theft of government money and aggravated identity theft for her role in obtaining two Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) using the means of identification of other persons.

The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At sentencing, Brewer and Fenton each face up to 15 years in federal prison.

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