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Idaho State News

Post Falls Man Sentenced for Fraud Related to Unemployment Insurance Benefits

COEUR D’ALENE – Jimmy Winebrenner, 79, of Post Falls, was sentenced for using or trafficking in unauthorized access devices in relation to an unemployment insurance scheme, U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.

According to court records, in Spring 2020, Winebrenner began receiving unemployment benefits cards in the mail from various state agencies, including cards from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).  The unemployment benefit cards were debit cards and preloaded with unemployment benefit funds issued in other persons’ names. Winebrenner was specifically sentenced for using a debit card issued in another person’s name and obtaining $14,830 at an ATM in Coeur d’Alene from the debit card.  Winebrenner did so with the intent to defraud.  Between July and August 2020, Winebrenner obtained $81,180 from Nevada DETR debit cards issued in other persons’ names.

Chief U.S. District Judge David C. Nye sentenced Winebrenner to serve five years of probation, and to pay restitution in the amount of $81,180 to the Nevada DETR.

U.S. Attorney Hurwit commended the United States Postal Inspection Service for its investigation, which led to the charges.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Mazorol prosecuted the case.