23 indicted in $499K unemployment scheme

Mugshots were available for 13 of the 23 defendants. They include, from top-left to bottom-right, Ajay Johnson, Patrick Payne, George Buckles, Randall Johnson, Wesley Hickman, Jacob Hicks, Eugene Grizzle, John C. Johnson Jr., Danny Mullins, Steven Mullins Jr., John C. Johnson Sr., Jeffery Tackett and Joshua Carroll. Mugshots were available for 13 of the 23 defendants. They include, from top-left to bottom-right, Ajay Johnson, Patrick Payne, George Buckles, Randall Johnson, Wesley Hickman, Jacob Hicks, Eugene Grizzle, John C. Johnson Jr., Danny Mullins, Steven Mullins Jr., John C. Johnson Sr., Jeffery Tackett and Joshua Carroll.
Mugshots were available for 13 of the 23 defendants. They include, from top-left to bottom-right, Ajay Johnson, Patrick Payne, George Buckles, Randall Johnson, Wesley Hickman, Jacob Hicks, Eugene Grizzle, John C. Johnson Jr., Danny Mullins, Steven Mullins Jr., John C. Johnson Sr., Jeffery Tackett and Joshua Carroll.
Mugshots were available for 13 of the 23 defendants. They include, from top-left to bottom-right, Ajay Johnson, Patrick Payne, George Buckles, Randall Johnson, Wesley Hickman, Jacob Hicks, Eugene Grizzle, John C. Johnson Jr., Danny Mullins, Steven Mullins Jr., John C. Johnson Sr., Jeffery Tackett and Joshua Carroll.

ABINGDON, Va. — A federal grand jury in Abingdon has issued an indictment against 23 southwestern Virginia residents, on charges related to a half-million dollar unemployment scheme.

The charges are in relation to a scheme hatched by Leelyn Danielle Chytka, who filed for pandemic unemployment benefits on behalf of herself and at least 36 other people who were not eligible for the benefits, including many inmates in local jails.

Chytka and seven others have already pleaded guilty in the case.

Those charged in the new indictment include:

  • Jimmy W. Barnette, 28, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of making false statements.
  • George L. Buckles, 31, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of making false statements.
  • Joshua S. Carroll, 31, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Darrell D. Davis, 66, of Lebanon, Va., one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of making false statements.
  • Melinda R. Davis, 58, of Lebanon, Va., one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Eugene A. Grizzle, 19, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Joseph N. Hall, 42, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Wesley W. Hickman, 24, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Jacob B. Hicks, 35, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Timothy H. Hileman, 29, of Castlewood, Va., one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, one count of aggravated identify theft, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements.
  • Ajay Johnson, 25, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • John C. Johnson, Jr., 33, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • John C. Johnson, Sr., 57, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Randall D. Johnson, 41, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Marissa L. Kiser, 26, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Curtis E. Mullins, 25, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Danny L. Mullins, 49, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • James B. Mullins, 31, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of making false statements..
  • Steven J. Mullins, 33, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Veronica S. Mullins, 47, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, three counts of aggravated identify theft, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements.
  • Patrick A. Payne, 42, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.
  • Jeffrey R. Tackett, 29, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of emergency relief fraud, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, two counts of aggravated identify theft, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of making false statements.
  • Jeffery D. Wiseman, 27, one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of mail fraud conspiracy, one count of mail fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of making false statements.