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Press Release

Wood County Man Pleads Guilty After Unlawfully Obtaining Unemployment and COVID-19 Benefits

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Daniel Satow, 33, of Davisville, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud. Satow admitted he unlawfully obtained unemployment benefits, including supplementary funds provided by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 20, 2020, Satow logged on to the WorkForce West Virginia website and applied for unemployment compensation. Satow admitted he was employed at the time and that he falsely claimed when he applied that he had not been gainfully employed since September 9, 2020, and that the coronavirus pandemic prevented him from working.

Satow’s fraudulent application was approved and he received a debit card loaded with unemployment compensation benefits through the mail at his Davisville residence on January 5, 2021. Satow admitted that he used the debit card to make purchases for himself while knowing he had obtained the benefits fraudulently.

Satow further admitted that he continued to access the WorkForce West Virginia website for 26 consecutive weeks and each time falsely certified that he remained entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. WorkForce West Virginia relied on Satow’s false answers and loaded additional benefits onto the debit card weekly. These benefits included supplementary funds provided by the FPUC program. Satow admitted that he continued to use the debit card to make personal purchases.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided for a temporary emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits, referred to as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC). Although these benefits are administered by the states, they are funded in part by the federal government.

Satow is scheduled to be sentenced on August 10, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Satow also owes $21,238 in restitution.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the WorkForce West Virginia Integrity Section and the Litigation Financial Analyst with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Blackwell is prosecuting the case.

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

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:

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:23-cr-56.





Updated April 26, 2023