How this former NFL player stole Florida’s people’s identities and money

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Kenbrell Armod Thompkins, a Florida resident and former National Football League (NFL) professional player, has pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft to commit fraud related to the coronavirus economic stimulus implemented by the U.S. government for unemployed residents.

Hired as an undrafted free agent by the New England Patriots in 2013, Thompkins also went through teams such as the Oakland Raiders and New York Jets. The former player, now 33, had been away from professional football for several seasons.

The defendant acknowledged that, between January and September 2020, he managed to access the social security numbers of hundreds of Florida residents in order to obtain multiple debit cards with the aforementioned economic stimulus, managing to withdraw around $300,000 USD from these cards. Thompkins expects a sentence of up to 12 years in federal prison.

It should be remembered that, in early 2020, Congress passed legislation known as the COVID Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), in order to help those people and businesses in economic difficulties survive the pandemic.

Despite the fact that thousands of people actually needed this support, cybercriminals did not mind using this program for their own benefit, so in 2021 the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force was created, which had the participation of police departments throughout the U.S. for the prevention and combat of these crimes.

The creation of this group increased the efforts of investigative agencies to bring the perpetrators of these crimes before the law, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, as well as sharing this information with agencies throughout the U.S.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.