Leicester Man Sentenced to Nearly Three Years in Prison for Unemployment and Loan Fraud Schemes Related to COVID-19 Pandemic
BOSTON – A Leicester man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Worcester for his involvement in fraud schemes affecting the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Programs in Massachusetts and Nevada.
William Cordor, 27, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Cordor was also ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution to the SBA. In November 2021, Condor pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft.
Between May and October 2020, Cordor engaged in a fraudulent unemployment scheme by attempting to file numerous claims for unemployment with the State of Nevada by taking advantage of PUA funds made available due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cordor filed the claims using the names, Social Security numbers and other personal identifying information of third parties for whom he had no legal authority to file such claims. The State of Nevada ultimately detected that the claims were fraudulent and did not approve the PUA funds.
Cordor also engaged in a second wire fraud scheme using stolen identities to fraudulently apply for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster loans made available by the SBA. Cordor used a third party’s personal identifying information to obtain a loan from the SBA under false pretenses, and then used the fraudulent funds for his own enrichment, including to pay for plane tickets, hotel accommodations, restaurants, entertainment and shopping during a Florida vacation.
In May 2020, Cordor agreed to surrender to federal authorities the balance of $79,000 in his bank account that were proceeds of a separate unemployment fraud scheme in Massachusetts. This occurred before Cordor filed the fraudulent unemployment claims with Nevada in July 2020.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge of Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; and Andrew Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office made the announcement today. Valuable assistance in the case was provided by the Leicester and Marlboro Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John T. Mulcahy of Rollins’ Criminal Division and Danial Bennett of the Worcester Branch Office prosecuted the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.