Lebanon County Man Indicted On COVID-19 Unemployment Fraud Charges
HARRISBURG, The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Stacy Taylor, age 27, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 52 counts of Wire Fraud and 52 counts of Mail Fraud.
According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the indictment alleges that between March 21, 2020, and December 30, 2020, Taylor made materially false and fraudulent pretenses to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and the Employment Development Department for the State of California, to obtain Pandemic Unemployment Assistance unemployment benefits, meant for individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended unemployment benefits.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania Department of Probation/Parole, the Lebanon County Drug Task Force, and the Lebanon City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime M. Keating is prosecuting the case.
“An important part of the mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud related to unemployment insurance programs. We will continue to work with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations”, stated Syreeta Scott, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Philadelphia Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
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.
The maximum penalty under federal law for each of these offenses is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
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