Macomb County woman gets prison for stealing $300K+ from unemployment during pandemic

A Center Line woman was sentenced to prison Tuesday after stealing more than $300,000 from unemployment during the Covid pandemic.

April Rienstra, 52, received an 18-month sentence. She must also pay $318,760 in restitution.

Authorities say that between April 2020 and May 2021, she submitted false applications for benefits for herself and others to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. Others paid her a fee when she submitted claims for them.

"Ms. Rienstra defrauded a system designed to provide much needed support to individuals who were unemployed because of the pandemic. Her actions potentially prevented those who legitimately needed financial support during difficult times from receiving vital assistance," said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. "The FBI and our partners are committed to holding those who defraud the government accountable for their crimes."