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Press Release

Michigan Man Pleads Guilty in Pandemic Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Michigan pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of mail fraud and identity theft, Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti announced today.

Milton Barth Reed, age 32, pleaded guilty to two counts before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon on May 26, 2023.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that, in September 2020, Reed was located in Pittsburgh, PA, in possession of a notebook containing the personally identifying information of twenty-four individuals. Each of these identities had been used to file a fraudulent application for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. While in Pittsburgh, Reed had attempted to pick up two fraudulently issued PUA debit cards that were supposed to be delivered by commercial carrier to an address near Ben Avon.

Sentencing in this matter has been scheduled for October 3, 2023. The law provides for a total sentence of 22 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that the defendant be detained.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey R. Bengel is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, and United States Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Milton Barth Reed.

Updated May 30, 2023

Financial Fraud