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Marion man and two others charged in unemployment benefits scam involving COVID-19 relief

The Gazette

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Marion man and two others have been indicted in three separate cases for receiving unemployment benefits related to coronavirus relief and then acting as “money mules” for others who gained access to the unemployment claims system in one or more states.

Brian Whorton, 54, of Marion, is charged in U.S. District Court with one count of wire fraud, and Alvin Rex, 61, of Schaller, and Jerry D. Johnson, 54, of Webster City, are charged with one count each of mail fraud, according to the indictments. All had initial hearings and were released without bond pending trials.

The three men are accused of receiving unemployment benefits during the pandemic, which included an extra $600 a month, under false identities, and then laundering the money through their bank accounts. They kept a portion for themselves each check but sent the rest to others involved in the scheme.


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