Former NFL wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, a South Florida resident, has reportedly pleaded guilty to stealing identities as part of a scheme to fraudulently collect COVID-19 unemployment insurance benefits from the State of California. He was originally hit with these charges back in March as part of a slate of indictments against multiple persons involved in the scam.
Thompkins, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in a Miami federal court on Monday, per court records.
According to the original documents from Thompkins’ indictment, the former NFL wideout allegedly stole the identities of several South Florida residents in order to collect unemployment insurance benefits from the CARES Act (the first major COVID-19 relief bill passed in 2020). Getting these unemployment benefits in the form of debit cards delivered to multiple addresses in the Miami and Aventura, Florida areas, Thompkins received approximately $300,000 in fraudulent aid — $230,000 of which was withdrawn.
Former NFL wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins guilty of ID theft, COVID-19 relief fraud.
Thompkins played for the Patriots, Raiders and #Jets.
He had 17 catches for 165 yards in 7 games with NY in 2015. Also spent part of ‘17 training camp with Jets.https://t.co/FMHgp5C7k8
— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) October 20, 2021
After going undrafted in 2013, Thompkins signed with the New England Patriots where he logged 466 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season. Just two games into the 2014 season, the former Cincinnati Bearcat went to join the Oakland Raiders. He then finished out his career with the New York Jets in 2015.
Thompkins faces up to 12 years in prison at his scheduled hearing on Jan. 6.
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