Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.

Help support the publication of case reports on MoreLaw

Date: 09-30-2022

Case Style:

United States of America v. Demichael J. Peeples

Case Number: 4:21-cr-66

Judge: Arenda Wright Allen

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Newport News County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:

Click Here to Watch How To Find A Lawyer by Kent Morlan

Click Here For The Best Newport News Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory

If no lawyer is listed, call 918-582-6422 and MoreLaw will help you find a lawyer for free.

Description: Newport News, Virginia criminal law lawyer represented Defendant charged with participating in a fraud scheme to obtain unemployment benefits made available because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Demichael J. Peeples, 27, submitted multiple false unemployment claims with the Commonwealth of Virginia and State of California. He filed fraudulent claims for benefits for himself and on behalf of others. In these claims, Peeples falsely represented, among other things, the applicants’ work history and that they lost their employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Peeples recruited individuals on social media to provide their personally identifying information, so he could file fraudulent claims for benefits in their name. In many cases, the defendant had the benefit payments delivered to his residence and kept the proceeds for himself.

Peeples is a documented member of the “10K” street gang on the Peninsula. While on pretrial release, he used illegal drugs, failed to seek employment, did not report contact with law enforcement to his supervising probation officer, and otherwise failed to comply with his conditions of release. In March, Peeples was evicted from a hotel room where police found a Glock semiautomatic firearm that had a preliminary match to a shooting that occurred earlier that same day. In May, police were dispatched to Peeples’s residence after unknown individuals fired 19 rounds at Peeples. After pleading guilty, the Court revoked his bond and remanded him into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

This case was investigated under the leadership and coordination of the Newport News Financial Crimes Task Force.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys D. Mack Coleman and Devon E.A. Heath prosecuted the case.

Mail Fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341;

Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan, exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security, or other article, or anything represented to be or intimated or held out to be such counterfeit or spurious article, for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter, any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives therefrom, any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or such carrier according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any such matter or thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122)), or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:


Find a Lawyer


Find a Case