Detroit Man Pleads Guilty to Unemployment Insurance Fraud, Illegal Gun Possession
A Detroit man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to engage in mail fraud and being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced.
Schneider was joined in the announcement by James Vanderberg, Special Agent-in-Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
According to court records, Charles H. Alexander, 54, of Detroit, participated in a multi-year scheme to fraudulently obtain unemployment insurance benefits. Alexander acknowledged that as part of the scheme, he obtained personal identifying information of third parties and caused unemployment benefits to be issued in the names of those third parties—even though those individuals had no legitimate entitlement to such benefits. Alexander also acknowledged that he impersonated others in order to withdraw fraudulently-obtained unemployment insurance benefits.
Alexander, who has prior convictions for illegal weapons activity, drug activity, and aggravated domestic violence, also admitted that he illegally possessed a loaded firearm.
“Charles Alexander defrauded the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency by conspiring with others to falsely obtain and use debit cards containing over $330,000 in unemployment benefits issued in the names of claimants who were not entitled to such benefits. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard the unemployment insurance system from those who exploit these benefit programs,” said James Vanderberg, Special Agent-in-Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
As part of his plea agreement, Alexander has agreed to be held accountable for $330,561 in restitution.
Alexander entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman in Detroit. Sentencing has been set for October 5, 2018.
The case is being investigated by the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General and the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Yahkind