Tangier watermen plead guilty to unemployment fraud

April 12, 2024
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By Linda Cicoira

Two Tangier watermen pleaded guilty in Accomack Circuit Court Thursday to illegally obtaining thousands of dollars in unemployment compensation while they continued to harvest and sell seafood in 2020 and 2021.

Thirty-three-year-old Ethan Dale Marshall, of Ponderosa Lane, and 48-year-old Fred S. Laird Jr., of Main Ridge Road, entered their pleas in bargaining agreements with Assistant Attorney General Bridget E. Ambrosio.

In exchange for the pleas, Ambrosio requested that judgment be withheld for a year and that the two men start paying back the money at $200 a month. If they stay in good standing, she asked for the felony counts would be reduced to misdemeanors.

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Judge Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. accepted the bargaining agreements. The case will come back up in April 2025.

      Ambrosio said Marshall was paid $14,894 to which he was not entitled. Laird received $18,478 above what he was entitled to receive.

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