Landrum woman indicted in fraud scheme

Published 2:45 pm Friday, July 21, 2023

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Nine S.C. inmates, six others charged in nearly $5M conspiracy


LANDRUM—A Landrum woman is one of 15 individuals recently indicted on wire fraud charges in an alleged $5M scheme involving COVID-19 unemployment benefits.

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Bridgette Cash, of Landrum, is facing one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

A federal grand jury issued 51 indictments against nine current or former inmates of the South Carolina Department of Corrections system and six other individuals in a plot to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 unemployment benefits in several states.The indictment alleges the defendants outside of jail received money in the form of government checks and prepaid debit cards and used ATMs, wire transfers and mobile banking applications to make the money available.

U.S. attorney Adair Ford Boroughs said in a press release that from March 2020 through December 2020 the inmates “engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain various COVID-19 unemployment benefits” from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, as well as several other states.

The inmates “conspired and coordinated with other inmates and friends and relatives outside of SCDC to submit unemployment claims to SCDEW using the Personal Identification Information of both inmates in SCDC and individuals outside the prison system,” said Boroughs.

The Department of Justice alleges the defendants fraudulently obtained $4,996,673 from the government.

Federal prosecutors stated that the investigation is still ongoing, and there could be more charges. Conviction of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud potentially carries a penalty of up to thirty years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000 per count.