OCALA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– Acting United States Attorney Karin Hoppmann announces the return of an indictment charging Elizabeth Carol Wininger (68, Leesburg) with three counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of unauthorized use of access devices. If convicted on all counts, Wininger faces a maximum penalty of 16 years in federal prison.

According to court documents, between July 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021, Wininger engaged in a scheme to collect unemployment benefits using the identities of others without their knowledge or consent. As part of the scheme, Wininger attempted to steal more than $11 million in unemployment benefits in the victims’ names. She ultimately received more than $500,000 in payments.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.