An elderly woman’s stimulus payment was part of a recent theft attempt. A couple in Ohio is facing charges of theft from a person in a protected class after they duped a woman into signing over a number of assets to them. Investigators say that Karen Laborde and Peter Laborde III managed to trick the woman into signing a quitclaim deed, used to transfer ownership of a property before they then placed her into a nursing home.
They also stole a number of other assets worth over $47,500 from her, including her social security and stimulus payment.
This is not the first example of a crime involving stimulus payments. Attempts at fraud involving stimulus payments have been a concern since the government first began sending them out. One Oklahoma woman, for example, reported that shortly after receiving her first $1,200 stimulus payment she was notified by her bank about more than one attempt to cash fraudulent checks against her account.
More organized attempts at fraud involving stimulus payments have also taken place, with one Chicago man accused of working with his brother, a postal worker, to steal stimulus payments from the mail and then resell them.
Those people accused of engaging in fraud related to stimulus payments could face very severe penalties, including fines of up to $1,000,000 as well as jail time.
Violent crimes involving stimulus payments have also occurred. An Indiana postal worker was killed by a man on her regular delivery route who was reportedly angry over having his mail withheld which resulted in a delay in his receiving his stimulus payment, while a man in Illinois was killed following an attempted home invasion and burglary that was targeting his stimulus payment.
Other examples of violent crime involving stimulus payments include a shooting in Detroit that followed an argument over a stimulus payment, as well as one man who set both his house and an ex-girlfriend’s car on fire after reportedly being angry that his $600 stimulus payment was being diverted for child support.
A particularly gruesome example of violent crime involving stimulus payments comes out of Indianapolis, where a disagreement over a stimulus payment ended in a quadruple murder.
Eli Fuhrman is a contributing writer for The National Interest.