Leicester Man Indicted in Unemployment and SBA Loan Fraud Related to Covid-19 Pandemic
BOSTON – A Leicester man was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Worcester in connection with his involvement in schemes to fraudulently obtain unemployment assistance and obtain loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in an effort to allegedly take advantage of increased federal government assistance programs created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
William Cordor, 26, was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft. Cordor was previously charged by criminal complaint and arrested on March 5, 2021.
According to the charging documents, from about June to October 2020, Cordor conspired with others to use stolen identities to file false and fraudulent claims for unemployment assistance in various states including Nevada and wire the payments into prepaid debit card accounts they obtained. It is alleged that on Aug. 18, 2020, Cordor was encountered by police in connection with a domestic violence incident and found in possession of approximately 21 prepaid debit cards in approximately 13 different names. In addition, evidence related to this scheme was found on Cordor’s computer and cell phone.
Cordor also allegedly engaged with others in a second wire fraud scheme that involved using stolen identities to fraudulently apply for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster loans from the SBA and similarly deposit the loans into prepaid debit card accounts.
Charging documents allege that in May 2020 Cordor admitted to federal agents that he had fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That same day, Cordor agreed to surrender to federal authorities the balance of $79,000 in his bank account that were proceeds of his unemployment fraud scheme in Massachusetts. This occurred before Cordor is alleged to have filed the fraudulent unemployment claim with Nevada in July 2020.
The charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to another other sentenced imposed, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Michael Mikulka, Special Agent in Charge of Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; Frederick J. Regan, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office; Leicester Police Chief Kenneth Antanavica; and Marlboro Police Chief David Giorgi made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Mulcahy of Mendell’s Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.