Inmate Sentenced for Conspiring to Steal Government Property
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
With Girlfriend’s Assistance, New York State Inmate Stole More Than $27,000 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Benefits
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Irvis Jorge, age 44, was sentenced today to 364 days in jail for fraudulently applying for unemployment benefits while a state prisoner.
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 (NYSDOCCS); and New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) Commissioner Roberta Reardon.
Jorge worked with his girlfriend, Pamela Febo, to submit a fraudulent unemployment insurance claim to NYSDOL using Jorge’s personal identifying information, at time when Jorge was an inmate in NYSDOCCS 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. Febo certified each week 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.
Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe ordered the 364-day term of imprisonment to run consecutive to Jorge’s state term of imprisonment for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. He also imposed 3 years of supervised release, and ordered restitution in the amount of $27,348 and forfeiture in the amount of $12,444. Febo pled guilty on October 26, 2022, and is scheduled to be sentenced in February.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the NYSDOCCS Office of Special Investigations, and the NYSDOL Office of Special Investigations. The case was 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.
Updated December 20, 2022