Las Vegas Mail Carrier Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud Conspiracy
LAS VEGAS – A Las Vegas woman pleaded guilty today to her role in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection to the illegal possession of unemployment benefit debit cards issued by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) and Arizona’s Department of Economic Security (DES) — the agencies administer Nevada’s and Arizona’s unemployment insurance program, respectively.
Jasmine-Royshell Kanisha Black (34) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro scheduled sentencing for November 2, 2022. At sentencing, Black faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a term of supervised release, and a fine.
According to court documents and admissions made in court, Black — who was employed as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier — assisted co-conspirator Vincent Okoye to fraudulently obtain unemployment insurance benefits from DETR and DES using other people’s personal identifying information — such as their names, dates of birth, and social security numbers — without their consent. Black used her position to help Okoye find either vacant residences or rarely-checked mailboxes to which fraudulently obtained debit cards could be sent. She then intercepted and delivered those cards to Okoye in person. In total, DETR and DES approved of at least $462,000 in benefits for these fraudulent claims submitted by Black and Okoye.
U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Karon Ransom for the U.S. Secret Service, and Special Agent in Charge Glenn SanJose for the U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General made the announcement.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Fang is prosecuting the case.
In May 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 Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.