Unemployment Fraud Arrests Made In Maryland
With unemployment benefits increasing during the COVID pandemic, people have been committing extremely high levels of fraud in order to receive this extra money. This internet crime has been really bad in Maryland, with 1.4 million claims confirmed to be fraudulent. So far, several arrests have been made.
As of July 13, 1,443,211 unemployment claims in the state were confirmed to be fraudulent. That’s a whopping 92% of claims. Officials have performed sting operations and several have been arrested for this fraudulent activity.
In May, a 27-year-old man from Georgia was indicted on charges of wire fraud for fraudulently receiving $506,000 in benefits from the Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance. In June, a 40-year-old man from Greenbelt was arrested for fraudulently obtaining more than $500,000 in unemployment benefits and small business loans. Another man was arrested after being accused of submitting fraudulent unemployment applications for 42 people. He also received close to $200,000 in fraudulent small business loans and grants.
Maryland law enforcement officials are also in the process of prosecuting a Florida man for reportedly submitting fraudulent unemployment applications in the amount of $176,000. The man used fraudulent debit and credit cards in Maryland. He is also accused of identity theft after spending more than $10,000 on 15 debit cards with the names of seven people.
Court documents have also identified an unemployment insurance fraud ring operating out of Maryland. The three men who are suspects in the case used an address in Hyattsville, Maryland, to collect $1.4 million in unemployment benefits from Maryland and several other states. They received more than 175 prepaid unemployment insurance debit cards at the Hyattsvillle address and 57 others at another address. They defrauded Maryland of $278,000.
The amount of fraud has been concerning in Maryland and it has made it difficult for valid claims to get approved. As a result, the Maryland Department of Labor has requested that claimants submit additional identity verification documents in order to be approved for benefits. Until these documents can be verified, thousands of claimants had to have their accounts frozen. Lexis Nexis is helping to expedite the process and get those who are truly unemployed their benefits as soon as possible. As of July 13, 24,297 unemployment claims were still under review.
Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Fraud is on the rise with the COVID pandemic offering various benefits for certain groups of people. Many people want to take advantage of these benefits, but if caught, this fraud can result in serious criminal charges.
Fraud and internet crime can result in state and federal investigations. The charges you face should not be taken lightly. The Columbia internet crimes lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. will start working on your case right away and offer the defense you need to get a fair outcome. To schedule a consultation with our office, call (410) 774-5987 or fill out the online form. We have two offices to serve you.