A lot of ex-NFL and NBA players have been caught scamming lately.
In the immortal words of Patrick Ewing.
“We make a lot of money, but we spend a lot of money.”
When the players aren’t superstars, the money can dry up quickly. Kenbrell Thompkins bounced around the NFL for a couple of years but didn’t make generational wealth, so he had to resort to scamming.
A former NFL wide receiver and South Florida native has pleaded guilty to stealing identities to fraudulently obtain coronavirus-related unemployment insurance benefits in California.
Kenbrell Armod Thompkins, 33, pleaded guilty Monday in Miami federal court to one count of unauthorized access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to court records. He faces up to 12 years in prison at his scheduled Jan. 6 sentencing.
According to a plea agreement, Thompkins used the stolen identities of numerous Florida residents to obtain fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits from the state of California. California distributed these unemployment benefit funds as debit cards, which were mailed to addresses associated with Thompkins in Miami and nearby Aventura, prosecutors said.
In August and September 2020, Thompkins used these debit cards to withdraw funds at various ATMs in Miami-Dade County, prosecutors said. They said the scheme involved approximately $300,000 in California unemployment insurance funds, out of which about $230,000 of the funds were withdrawn.
If you are going to be a scammer, it seems that there are two ways to do it.
Either you are low-key and try to make your money in small amounts over numerous years, or you are like Thompkins and go BIG, which is destined to get you caught. If he stole one identity, then he might have gotten away with it. If you steal so many, you are making $300k, the FEDS will catch you.
Flip the page for the Feds speaking on how they caught him.