Man agrees to identity theft plea in Vermont

Man agrees to identity theft plea in Vermont

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — A man in Vermont has agreed to plead guilty to stealing the identities of about two dozen people to collect unemployment insurance.

Denny Ray Hughes was arrested in Vernon in March. He’s agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of identity theft.

Prosecutors say the 40-year-old Hughes collected nearly $220,000 from the state of Florida and nearly $71,000 from Massachusetts. He used to live in both states.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports ( federal court documents in Florida say Hughes created a corporation in 2008 called Mortgage Relief America. He obtained personal information of 21 people, classifying them as employees. Hughes later classified them as being laid off and then fraudulently applied for unemployment compensation.

Authorities say Hughes conducted a similar operation in Massachusetts.

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