2 sentenced in Arizona in pandemic assistance fraud case

Apr 12, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 7:24 am

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Two defendants were sentenced in Arizona after being convicted of using others identities to apply for pandemic unemployment payments, authorities announced Tuesday.

Daniel Lucero, 34, and Makallyn Hunt, 22, will each serve prison time after pleading guilty to breaking into mailboxes in Arizona and Colorado and using victims’ identities to apply for the payments and to acquire fraudulent prepaid debit cards, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a press release.

Lucero and Hunt targeted hundreds of elderly individuals unaware their identities were being used to apply for the funding, Mayes said.

Lucero was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by probation with white collar terms.

He pleaded guilty on Feb. 24 to one count of theft and one count of aggravated taking the identity of another.

Hunt pleaded guilty on Jan. 20 to one count of theft and one count of aggravated taking the identity of another.

Hunt will serve 1.5 years in prison then probation with white collar terms.

Both were also ordered to pay $181,746 to the Arizona Department of Economic Security and $46,741 to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

“The sentencing of Lucero and Hunt underscores my office’s commitment to protecting the interests of taxpayers and vulnerable communities,” Mayes said in the release.

“Misusing the identities of elderly individuals to fraudulently collect benefits is unacceptable.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Live music and DJ sets are one of the main attractions during the Whoopee Daze Festival this weeken...

David Veenstra

Whoopee Daze Festival arrives in Tolleson this weekend

The Whoopee Daze Festival returns to Tolleson this weekend. The three-day festival features a parade, carnival rides, food trucks and crafts.

30 minutes ago

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

1 hour ago

Operation Makeup Break Up...

Serena O'Sullivan

3 West Valley women accused of selling stolen merchandise out of their homes

Three West Valley women have been indicted for operating illicit businesses from their home using stolen merchandise, authorities said.

2 hours ago

Aircraft perform a flyover during the Global Premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" on May 4, 2022 in San ...

David Veenstra

Scottsdale Airport to show ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ for its first movie night

Scottsdale Airport will offer a starlit screening of "Top Gun: Maverick" on Saturday with Tom Cruise soaring as a daring naval aviator.

5 hours ago

File photo of a prison fence with barbed wire on top. Broderrick Ramon Coggeshell was sentenced Mon...

Arizona drunk driver sentenced to 9 years in prison for causing fatal crash in 2022

An Arizona man was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for causing a fatal crash in 2022 while driving drunk, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Preparations are underway for the Home & Garden Show's Floral Showcase at WestWorld of Scottsdale. ...

David Veenstra

Maricopa County Home and Garden Show’s new Floral Showcase coming to Scottsdale this weekend

The Maricopa County Home and Garden show's Floral Showcase is coming to the Valley for the first time this weekend.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

2 sentenced in Arizona in pandemic assistance fraud case