WISE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia man found guilty of conspiring with almost 40 other people to steal around $500,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits has been sentenced.

Danny L. Mullins was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States, fraud in connection with federal emergency benefits, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft after a two-day trial in August, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ said Mullins worked alongside his sister, and several other conspiracy leaders to give his identification information to the Virginia Employment Commission so that he could get unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled. Mullins was found guilty of stealing more than $18,000 worth of benefits.

In all, the conspiracy ring involved around 37 people, including multiple incarcerated individuals. None of the individuals were eligible for the pandemic unemployment benefits, according to the DOJ. Altogether the group managed to defraud the United States of at least $499,000 in falsely paid claims.

Mullins was sentenced on Monday, Nov. 7 to 36 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $18,160 in restitution.