New Jersey Man Charged with Fraudulently Obtaining More Than $150,000
NEWARK, N.J. B A Camden, New Jersey, man was arrested this morning for fraudulently obtaining more than $150,000, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Alfred Powner II, 39, is charged by complaint with one count of wire fraud. He is scheduled to appear by videoconference this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III.
According to the complaint:
The State of New Jersey, Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA), maintains a system to collect and maintain “abandoned” funds owed to New Jersey persons and entities. The UPA’s online website allows users to verify whether the UPA is holding funds for a particular person or entity. A person or entity seeking to claim funds held by the UPA on its behalf can use the UPA’s online portal to request a distribution of funds. From September 2019 through March 2020, Powner submitted a fraudulent application and other fraudulent information to the UPA in support of his claim for a distribution. As a result, Powner received approximately $150,000 from the UPA.
The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL) administers and manages unemployment insurance benefit (UIB) programs. Records revealed that NJDOL caused approximately $5,000 to be sent to a bank account Powner controlled in response to a claim for UIBs. NJDOL also received two additional UIB claims, from purportedly separate claimants, that requested that UIB funds be sent to Powner’s bank account. The three individuals whose names were used to make these UIB claims were deceased at the time the UIB claims were made.
The charge of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross profits to Powner or twice the gross loss suffered to the victims of his offense, whichever is greater.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael C. Mikulka, in Manhattan, New York, special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., in Newark, and special agents of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew McKay, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. She also thanked New Jersey’s Unclaimed Property Administration and the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development for their assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Kogan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrime Unit in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.