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Baton Rouge woman pleads not guilty in alleged scheme to falsely obtain unemployment benefits

A Baton Rouge woman allegedly fraudulently received hundreds of thousands of dollars in...
A Baton Rouge woman allegedly fraudulently received hundreds of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits.
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 12:38 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge woman appeared in federal court Thursday, May 27, and pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with an alleged scheme to falsely obtain unemployment benefits following the 2016 floods and during the pandemic.

Shawnda Augustus, 39, is facing charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. A federal grand jury recently indicted her on seven total counts.

According to the indictment, Augustus used names to receive or attempt to receive nearly $245,000 in disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) following the floods of 2016.

The indictment also alleges she received more than $120,000 in false claims for pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) by using stolen identities from several states. She allegedly withdrew the funds as cash or used the money to pay for hotels, airline tickets, meals at restaurants, and items at retail stores.

A trial date has not been set.

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