Inmate Sentenced to Six Months’ Imprisonment for Conspiring to Obtain Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Benefits
PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of New Castle, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court on a charge of fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Tylan Huddleston, 24, was sentenced to six months of incarceration followed by two years of supervised release by United States District Judge David Cercone.
On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to be an emergency under Section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford disaster Relief and Emergency Act. Subsequently, on March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (which is frequently referred to as the CARES Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provided unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended unemployment benefits. The CARES Act also provided an emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits of $600.00 per week.
According to information provided to the court, Huddleston conspired with another individual to commit mail fraud to obtain $13,905 in connection with pandemic unemployment assistance benefits while he was incarcerated awaiting trial on state charges.
“Tylan Huddleston conspired to defraud the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program by having his co-conspirator fraudulently file for and receive benefits on his behalf while Huddleston was incarcerated at Lawrence County Jail. The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General will continue to work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and our law enforcement partners, to safeguard the integrity of all unemployment assistance programs,” stated Syreeta Scott, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Philadelphia Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan D. Lusty prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Tylan Huddleston.