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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 28, 2022

Duluth Man Sentenced to 8.5 Years in Prison for Covid Relief Fraud and Identity Theft

MINNEAPOLIS – A Duluth man was sentenced to 102 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and $284,355.54 in restitution for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger. 

According to court documents, between April 2020 and August 2020, Jared John Fiege, 35, devised and executed a scheme to fraudulently obtain funds through Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. As part of the scheme, Fiege submitted fraudulent applications for UI benefits and EIDL assistance by using stolen names, birth dates, and social security numbers of at least 25 individuals. In applying for EIDL assistance and advances, Fiege also invented fictional business entities, which he linked to the identities of real persons without their knowledge or consent. As part of the scheme, Fiege possessed multiple burner cell phones and registered numerous email addresses which he used to impersonate others. Fiege was also found in possession of photoshopped passports, utility bills, and other documents he used for identity verification for the programs he targeted. In order to withdraw the significant amounts of cash that were disbursed through the programs he targeted, Fiege established bank accounts in other peoples’ names, and requested bank cards to be issued by mail, which he had sent to real addresses where he would then intercept the mail before the actual residents had a chance to. 

On July 14, 2021, Fiege pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Fiege was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court before Senior Judge Michael J. Davis. During the pendency of the federal case, Fiege also pled guilty in two separate stalking cases involving different women in Washington County, Minnesota and St. Louis County, Minnesota.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Duluth Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey E. Middlecamp prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Updated July 29, 2022