Former Michigan unemployment agency employee, Detroit man accused of scheming to steal benefits

A former Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency employee is facing charges after authorities say she schemed to steal benefits. A man who helped her is also charged.

Autumn Mims, 29, of Troy, and William Haynes, 25, of Detroit, are charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Mims is also charged with illicitly possessing fifteen or more unauthorized access devices.

Related: Man who used fake company to defraud employer out of more than $1 million sentenced

According to the Department of Justice, Mims was an unemployment insurance examiner who would review claims to ensure they were legitimate.

Authorities allege that shortly after she began working for the unemployment agency she began using her insider access to fraudulently process claims in the names of third parties without their knowledge or authorization. 

Mims and Haynes are also accused of opening unauthorized bank accounts in the names of third parties. Unemployment insurance claim payments were then issued to those illegitimate accounts. The pair is accused of spending that money.

Authorities said agents found "significant evidence of fraud" while searching Mims' home.

"Those who commit unemployment insurance fraud not only steal from honest taxpayers, but they also make it more difficult for legitimate claimants to receive the assistance to which they are entitled," stated United States Attorney Dawn Ison. "We will continue to work tirelessly to fight unemployment abuse and fraud."