Gainesville Man Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Unemployment Fraud Scheme

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Gainesville, GA – Ronald House, 66, from Gainesville, Georgia, has entered a guilty plea to a wire fraud charge for orchestrating a scheme to fraudulently claim COVID-19 unemployment benefits in multiple states during the pandemic peak. The announcement came from U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan, who emphasized the misuse of funds intended for those genuinely in need.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act established the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program to provide emergency aid and healthcare response amid the COVID-19 crisis. House exploited this program by submitting fraudulent unemployment insurance claims in various states, using his personal information and that of relatives, including a deceased family member. He managed to fraudulently acquire over $150,000 in benefits.

“In times of desperation during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many Americans needed unemployment assistance, Ronald House submitted numerous fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, stealing benefits intended for those adversely affected by the pandemic,” said Mathew Broadhurst, Special-Agent-in-Charge, Southeast Region, US Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.

House’s sentencing is scheduled for March 8, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones. The case is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Klapman is prosecuting the case.

The COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force, established on May 17, 2021, by the Attorney General, continues to collaborate across government agencies to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. This task force aims to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals involved in fraudulent activities related to relief programs.

For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, visit Department of Justice – Coronavirus.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at:

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is