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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Detroit Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing a Total of $1.6M in Unemployment Insurance Benefits from Nine States

A Detroit man pleaded guilty today to wire fraud and identity theft in a scheme to defraud nine states out of more than $1.6 million in unemployment insurance benefits, announced Acting United States Attorney Saima Mohsin.

Joining in the announcement was Special Agent in Charge Timothy Waters, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Irene Lindow, Special Agent-in-Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General

Jordan Armstrong, 29, of Detroit, entered his guilty pleas this morning, via Zoom, before United States District Judge Victoria A. Roberts.

According to court records, beginning on or about May 4, 2020 and continuing through at least October 21, 2020, Armstrong, with the intent to defraud, successfully submitted applications for unemployment insurance benefits on behalf of individuals in Michigan, California, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Massachusetts, New York, and Louisiana. Armstrong also unsuccessfully submitted claims in eight other states—in total filing more than 300 claims across 17 states and territories.  Armstrong submitted these claims using these individuals’ Social Security Numbers and did so without their permission.  Armstrong directed the benefits to be paid out via debit cards and then used these cards to repeatedly withdrawal the funds via ATMs throughout Metro Detroit. 

As part of his guilty plea, Armstrong will be required to pay restitution to the victim-states in the total amount of $1,611,202.

Armstrong faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment on the charge of wire fraud and a mandatory minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment on the charge of identity theft.

Armstrong will be sentenced on March 22, 2022.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General with the assistance of the Birmingham Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Particka. 

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Updated November 10, 2021