- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A northeast Ohio man at the helm of a large-scale fraud that swindled five states out of more than $1.1 million in unemployment benefits is heading to prison.

Northeast Ohio Media Group reports (https://bit.ly/1D7RpBT ) a federal judge sentenced 35-year-old Juan Sanders, of Cleveland Heights, on Monday to more than 11 years in prison. He pleaded guilty in April to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

Sanders was the ringleader of the scheme, in which he created state unemployment insurance accounts for multiple fake companies in Ohio, California, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Illinois. Prosecutors say he then stole the identities of several people and filed for unemployment benefits in their names.

He apologized and says he made a poor decision.

Sanders’ co-defendants have pleaded guilty.

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Information from: Northeast Ohio Media Group, https://www.cleveland.com


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