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Ex-Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins allegedly involved in $300G unemployment scheme

Former New England Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins is facing federal identity theft charges, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Thompkins, 32, of Miami, was charged with access device fraud and aggravated identify theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said as federal prosecutors gave an update on their criminal enforcement efforts against fraud under the CARES Act.

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The former NFL player is accused of using stolen identities of Florida residents to obtain unemployment benefits in California. He is accused of siphoning about $300,000 from California in fraud benefits.

“California distributed these unemployment benefit funds in the form of debit cards, which were subsequently mailed to addresses associated with Thompkins in Miami and Aventura, Florida. Court documents allege that from August 16 through September 23, 2020, Thompkins used these debit cards to withdraw funds at various ATMs in Miami-Dade County,” prosecutors said.

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Thompkins was identified in surveillance video and authorities said he has a “distinctive” left tattoo on his forearm, Boston.com reported, citing a criminal complaint. Authorities said a search warrant executed on his Florida home found notes with social security numbers and three alleged identity theft victims.

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Thompkins signed with the Patriots in 2013 as an undrafted free agent. He played in 12 games and caught 32 passes for 466 yards and four touchdowns. He also played with the then-Oakland Raiders and New York Jets. He played in the Canadian Football League in 2018.

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