Following investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, special agents in another state and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General, three individuals were arrested. Reportedly, the defendants operated unemployment insurance fraud schemes in several states, including Michigan. One of the defendants was arrested on Jan. 20, while the others were arrested on Jan. 28.
Allegations against 28-year old Michigan man
According to court documents, this defendant allegedly used the Social Security numbers of multiple individuals in several states without their authorization. Investigators allege the man used the details to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, requesting debit card payments to be mailed to separate addresses to which he had access. He allegedly filed 48 fraudulent claims, of which 29 involved the Michigan insurance system, and he filed the balance in other states.
Federal investigators claim he used about 12 debit cards and withdrew over $180,000 in benefits for which he did not qualify. The charges against him include aggravated identity theft, fraud involving access devices and wire fraud.
Allegations against a Michigan man and woman, ages 45 and 44
According to the claims against this duo, they caused the State of Michigan to lose more than $150,000 by the alleged filing of 66 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. Furthermore, another $300,000 was lost by other states following alleged fraudulent claims filed by them. Investigators determined that the woman used her own name on the claims she filed, while the man used various names that were similar to his.
Both of them used Social Security numbers of other people without their permission. The two face wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud charges.
No indictments yet
At this stage, all three defendants are charged with alleged fraud-related felonies. However, indictments can only be sought after the completion of the investigations. Until then, these three Michigan residents will remain innocent in the eyes of the law.