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Former Patriots Wide Receiver Is Facing Troubling Charges

A closeup of a New England Patriots football helmet. The team will be without David Andrews in Week 3.

ATLANTA - AUGUST 11: A detailed view of a New England Patriots helmet prior to the NFL preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons on August 11, 2006 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo By Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

It's been a long time since former New England Patriots wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins has been mentioned in NFL circles. Unfortunately, his name is coming up again for all of the wrong reasons.

In a statement released last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced that Thompkins is facing multiple federal charges stemming from an alleged unemployment insurance scheme. Chargers include access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to NESN, Thompkins is accused of using stolen identities to illegally obtain hundreds of thousands in unemployment insurance payouts from California during the height of the ongoing pandemic.


“Kenbrell Armod Thompkins, 32, of Miami, Florida, a former National Football League (NFL) player, was charged by federal indictment with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. It is alleged in court documents that Thompkins used the stolen identities of numerous Florida residents to obtain fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits from the State of California. California distributed these unemployment benefit funds in the form of debit cards, which were subsequently mailed to addresses associated with Thompkins in Miami and Aventura, Florida.

“Court documents allege that from August 16 through September 23, 2020, Thompkins used these debit cards to withdraw funds at various ATMs in Miami-Dade County. The alleged scheme involves approximately $300,000 in California unemployment insurance funds credited to the fraudulent debit cards associated with Thompkins, out of which approximately $230,000 of the funds were withdrawn.”

Kenbrell Thompkins rose to prominence as a rookie receiver for the New England Patriots in 2013. Despite going undrafted out of Cincinnati, he finished second on the team with four touchdowns that year.

Thompkins was waived by the Patriots in the middle of their 2014 season (and didn't get a Super Bowl ring afterwards), and was claimed by the Raiders. He finished that season with 21 receptions for 262 yards that year.

2015 was Thompkins' last NFL season. He played seven games for the New York Jets, making 17 receptions for 165 yards.

Thompkins spent the next couple of years out of football before reemerging with the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2018.

He's currently retired.