Inmate Steals Over $27,000 in Federal Pandemic Insurance Benefits
Keansburg, New Jersey couple Irvis Jorge (44), and Pamela Febo (38), pled guilty to conspiring to steal government property. The defendants admitted to a conspiracy in which they agreed to, and did, submit a fraudulent unemployment claim to New York Department of Labor (NYS DOL) using Jorge's personal identifying information during the time period where Jorge was an inmate in New York State Department of Corrects and Community Supervisions. (NYS DOCCS).
The Attorney General established on May 17th of 2021 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 augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts.
New York State Inmate Stole More Than $27,000 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Benefits
While Jorge was in DOCCS custody, Febo submitted the application for Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Benefits at Jorge's direction in October 2020, and continued to re-certify Jorge's benefits eligibility each week for approximately four months.
Each weekly certification claimed that Jorge was "able and available to start work immediately" even though Febo knew Jorge remained incarcerated and could not work. NYSDOL paid the defendants $27,348 based on the repeated false certifications.
The charge to which the defendants pled guilty carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. sentencing will take place before Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe.
Both defendants agreed to pay restitution for the full amount of funds stolen as well as forfeiture of the proceeds they still have.