KANSAS CITY -  Three Missouri residents, including an Eldon man, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in a scheme to use identities of deceased people to file false stimulus claims under the CARES Act.

Warren Watkins and Marisa Jackson, both of Kansas City, and Lamar Johnson, of Eldon, were charged with participating in a conspiracy to defraud the government while living at the same Kansas City address. According to a news release, the defrauding occurred from March 2020 to April 2021

The three are accused of using the identities of other people to file 238 false and fraudulent economic impact payment claims. Each claim sought $1,200 under the CARES Act, resulting in a total of $285,600. Most of the identities used were of those who are deceased, the news release said. 

The three also filed at least 28 false federal income tax returns in the names of other individuals. The three received a total of over $437,000 from these claims.

Watkins was associated with two Kansas City funeral homes. According to the release, 226 of the individuals whose identities were used received funeral services from the two funeral homes.

The three were also charged with false claims, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Watkins and Johnson were arrested Wednesday, the news release said.

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