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Press Release

Plymouth Man Sentenced for Submitting Multiple Fraudulent Claims for Pandemic Relief

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Plymouth, Mass. man was sentenced today for his involvement in a COVID-19 relief fund fraud scheme.

Ferris Brooks, 41, was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge William G. Young to three years of supervised release, with the first six months to be served in home confinement. In February 2024, Brooks pleaded guilty to theft of government property. 

From April to December 2020, Brooks submitted multiple applications for government benefits, both in his own name and in the names of friends and family, that contained false information. Specifically, Brooks submitted an application for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan with the U.S. Small Business Administration in the name of a fake business. Brooks also submitted applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and filed tax returns for Economic Impact Payments in the names of friends and family that contained false employment information. Brooks directed payments on the various fraudulent claims to bank accounts that he controlled and split the proceeds with his friends and family. The various fraudulent claims paid out more than $150,000 in pandemic relief funds.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge of Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General; Harry Chavis, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Markham of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit 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

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:

Updated June 3, 2024

Disaster Fraud