NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Willie J. Ray, 47, from North Myrtle Beach pleaded guilty to mail fraud in federal court on Wednesday, said United States Attorney Bill Nettles. Mail fraud is a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.
United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence accepted the plea and will impose a sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the US Probation Office.
Ray is accused of applying for unemployment insurance payments with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce in March 2009, even though he was working. As a result, he was paid $10,565 by SCDEW and $3756 by the US Dept. of Labor, from March 2009 until November 2011, when the fraud was discovered.
Nettles' stated the maximum penalty Ray can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment of 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100.
The case was investigated by agents of the Dept. of Labor OIG, and the SC Dept. of Employment and Workforce. Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day II of Florence handled the case.