ALBANY, NEW YORK – Irvis Jorge, age 44, and Pamela Febo, age 38, of Keansburg, New Jersey, each pled guilty today to conspiring to steal government property. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Anthony J. Annucci, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS); and New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) Commissioner Roberta Reardon.
The defendants admitted to a conspiracy in which they agreed to, and did, submit a fraudulent unemployment insurance claim to NYSDOL using Jorge’s personal identifying information, at a time when Jorge was an inmate in DOCCS custody. Febo submitted the application at Jorge’s direction in October 2020 and continued to re-certify Jorge’s benefits eligibility each week for approximately four months. Each weekly certification indicated that Jorge was “able and available to start work immediately” even though Febo knew Jorge remained incarcerated and could not work. NYSDOL paid the defendants $27,348 based on the repeated false certifications.
The charge to which the defendants pled guilty carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. Sentencing will take place before Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors. Both defendants agreed to pay restitution for the full amount of funds stolen as well as forfeiture of the proceeds they still have.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the DOCCS Office of Special Investigations, and the NYSDOL Office of Special Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Reiner.
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.