BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Tynea Lynnshay Gray, 24, of Donaldsonville will be spending the next six and a half years behind bars.

Gray’s sentence was handed down by a judge after she was found guilty of mail fraud. Gray’s sentence comes after an investigation into schemes that were carried out against the state of California and the United States.

According to the Department of Justice, “Between June 2020 and October 2021, Gray submitted fraudulent claims for unemployment insurance benefits in California in her name and in the names of other individuals.”

Gray also reportedly created fake businesses in order to attain benefits through the Paycheck Protection Program. DOJ said, “Through her unemployment insurance scheme, Gray falsely claimed that she and others were working in California prior to the coronavirus pandemic and that they lost their employment due to the pandemic.”

The Ascension Parish woman reportedly used social media to gather information about others including names and Social Security numbers. Gray used that information to submit “fraudulent claims for unemployment insurance benefits in their names, with and without their knowledge,” according to the United States Department of Justice. Officials said the money received through those claims was either handed out to others or kept by Gray. Gray was able to get prepaid debit cards valued at more than $550,000 through the mail, DOJ said.

Officials said Gray was able to get new bank cards that contained pandemic benefit funds by lying about the bank cards being lost or stolen.

After her time in jail is complete, Gray will be under supervised release for three years. The Donaldsonville woman will also be required to pay $906,534 in restitution, according to the United States Department of Justice.

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Gathe Jr. stated, “At a time when over 1 million U.S. Citizens died from
COVID-related issues, Ms. Gray took advantage of the system designed to help American
taxpayers in this time of need. The sentencing today shows that these cases will not be tolerated.
With the help of federal partners such as the FBI and U. S. Department of Labor-OIG, my office
will continue to prosecute these cases and redeem taxpayer money.”