Michigan man latest to be charged with submitting fraudulent Massachusetts pandemic unemployment claims
A Wayne, MI man with a penchant for $700 bottles of booze and $300 pairs of shoes was arrested this week on charges he was using fake IDs to collect $275,000 in bogus unemployment from nine states, including Massachusetts.
Devin Smith, 30, was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was released on personal recognizance for arraignment in Boston, where he was formally charged, the US Attorney's office, reports.
According to an affidavit by a Department of Labor investigator, Smith submitted 12 Massachusetts unemployment claims under the names of various Massachusetts medical professional in March and April of 2020, using his Michigan address for payment via Bank of America debit cards. Then, on Sept. 13, 2020, he submitted his first fraudulent pandemic unemployment assistance claim under his own name - using a fake Massachusetts address, but a Michigan banks for payment.
Massachusetts quickly identified the accounts as potentially suspicious and forwarded their information, including their IP addresses, to the Department of Labor, which zeroed in on Smith's IP address. Smith continued his fraudulent Massachusetts unemployment claims through at least July 26, 2021, according to the affidavit.
Complete affidavit (1.4M PDF).
Other alleged Covid-19 fraudsters:
- Area man charged with $2 million in coronavirus loan fraud
- Hull man admits to submitting bogus payroll records to get coronavirus loans covering time when he was in prison for violating parole on a stock-fraud conviction.
- Two Nigerians laundered money from Covid-19 scams through somebody they snared in a romance scam, feds charge.
- Not so funny business: New Jersey comedian admits role in $1.2-million Massachusetts pandemic unemployment fraud.
- Stoneham pair charged with using other people's IDs to grab pandemic unemployment payments.
- Feds charge Boston man collected pandemic unemployment even as he was working fulltime; also charged with trying to use the bank account of his wife's non-profit to get a mortgage.
- Lawrence woman gets three years for fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims; Rhode Island man arrested for same thing.
- Beverly pizzeria owner charged with using federal payroll grant to start a new life as a gentleman alpaca farmer in Vermont.
- Miami woman charged with using RMV Web site to help steal people's IDs and apply for federal disaster loans.
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For every one of these amoral a**hole jerks that gets busted committing this fraud, I’m wondering how many are getting away with it and will never get caught.
We need more aggressive enforcement & innovative punishment
Let's face it taxpayers, the criminals are all over social media scamming all of us and stealing everything they can. We need the Federal government to make law enforcement much more aggressive in finding and arresting the offenders. WE MUST HOWEVER FIND AN INNOVATIVE WAY TO PUNISH. Barring these folks from using cellphones, computers, all forms of social media and new technology for life must be done as well as having the FBI keep track of them to ensure they are not able to use any technology at all.
I assume a lot will get
I assume a lot will get caught. Pretty easy to track down electronically. There might be some more sophisticated thief’s out there but this is low hanging fruit as fas as scams go.
An optimist. I tend towards skepticism.
It's not too late
to add a gibbet to the Boston City Hall plaza renovation.
Spending $300 on a pair of shoes might be
a stupid extravagance only enabled by fraudulently obtained filthy lucre. Or it might be a sensible footwear investment. It depends on the shoes and how well the owner takes care of them.
There's been money making
There's been money making greedy scammers in every pandemic and other plague of the life on this planet in history. Why are we surprised?