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Eldon man indicted in federal fraud case involving COVID stimulus payments



An Eldon man and two people from Kansas City were indicted by a federal grand jury in a scheme to use the identities of deceased people to file hundreds of false COVID stimulus claims.

A federal prosecutor has filed charges against Lamar K. Johnson, 40, of Eldon, Warren W. Watkins, 39, and Marissia Jackson, 25, both of Kansas City, Mo.

Watkins is charged in each of the 37 counts of the indictment, while Jackson and Johnson each are accused of 10 counts.

According to a release, the federal indictment alleges the trio was in a conspiracy to defraud the federal government from CARES Act funding from March 28, 2020, to April 15, 2021, when the three people lived at the same Kansas City address.

The group allegedly used the deceased identities to file a total of 238 claims seeking $1,200 under the CARES Act, for $285,600. Most of the individuals whose identities were used were deceased, according to the indictment.

The trio allegedly also filed at least 28 fraudulent federal income tax returns in the names of other individuals seeking a total of $152,155 in income tax credits and refunds. According to the indictment, the total attempted loss from both schemes was $437,755.

The indictment charges 12 counts of false claims, 12 counts of wire fraud, and 12 counts of aggravated identity theft.

Karl Wehmhoener


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