Many people in Michigan and across the country rely on the U.S. government to provide financial assistance during these difficult times. However, several cases have been reported in which individuals allegedly committed white collar crimes to get some of those funds that were intended for others. One such case in another state involved a 24-year-old woman indicted on 17 counts by a federal grand jury.
According to court documents, the accused woman allegedly ran two separate fraud scams during 2019 and 2020. She is accused of obtaining the personal information of about 20 people and used that information to claim unemployment benefits using those individuals’ identities. Some of the benefits she received were in the form of debit cards, which were mailed to addresses she controlled under assumed names. She allegedly activated the debit cards and used the funds for personal enrichment.
In the other alleged scheme, the same woman manufactured keys to access the U.S. Postal Service’s cluster mailboxes. She allegedly stole mail from those mailboxes and used the personal information of others to commit fraud. Furthermore, she allegedly obtained stimulus checks in this way and used them for her benefits.
The 17 counts on the indictments include suspicion of bank fraud, mail fraud, possession of stolen mail, aggravated identity theft and unlawful possession of keys for U.S. Postal Service mailboxes. Also, one count involved obstruction of justice for allegations that she warned other participants of her fraud schemes about the investigation, allowing them to destroy evidence. If convicted on all charges, this woman faces many years in federal prison and hefty fines. Anyone in Michigan in similar circumstances will likely make sure he or she has the best possible legal counsel with experience defending those accused of committing white collar crimes.