Sac County man sentenced, ordered to pay more than $63 thousand in restitution

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A Schaller man was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution for mail fraud involving CARES Act unemployment benefits.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, Alvin Rex, 61, of Schaller, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in December 2020.

The release said Rex received and transferred more than $35,000 from CARES Act unemployment funds from Arizona, Ohio, and Massachusetts in May 2020.

During hearings, Rex admitted to opening multiple bank accounts around Storm Lake in May and June of last year. He received more than $35,000 in unemployment benefits in the names of people from other states. Rex withdrew the benefits and sent the money through the mail; he admitted to receiving a fraudulent tax refund in the name of someone else and cashed counterfeit checks.

“Alvin Rex took advantage of unemployment benefits intended for those who lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who seek to profit from fraud involving COVID-19 benefits. Rex’s sentence reflects the seriousness of his offense and demonstrates that there will be consequences for committing fraud, including prison,” said Acting United States Attorney Sean Berry.

Rex agreed to pay full restitution to the banks he cashed the counterfeit checks at. He was sentenced on Friday to 60 months imprisonment, ordered to pay $63,070.03 in restitution, and must serve a five-year term of supervised release following prison.

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