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Detroit-area man charged in $849,000 unemployment aid fraud

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Posted at 8:00 AM, May 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-09 09:02:30-04

(AP) — A suburban Detroit man has been arrested in an alleged scheme to collect $849,000 in unemployment benefits.

Chris Niebel, who called himself Tax Guy Chris, ran a tax preparation business in Allen Park.

Agents say he was responsible for more than 100 fraudulent unemployment accounts, and his name was on at least 28 bank accounts where money was deposited.

The payments included enhanced benefits approved by Congress as a result of COVID-19.

Separately, prosecutors said a former federal prisoner was charged with identity theft and fraud in a similar unemployment scam that cost more than $300,000.