Three More Charged With Stealing Over $140K in PUA Funding – PA Office of Attorney General

AG Shapiro has so far charged 35 people with PUA fraud

HARRISBURG – Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced today that the Attorney General’s office has brought charges against three Dauphin County residents for fraudulently soliciting and receiving more than $ 140,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) funds.

“These defendants took advantage of a program designed to help Pennsylvania families bring food to the table,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “We are committed to eliminating fraudsters and protecting public funds wherever they can be found.”

The Office accused Tyreese Lewis, 20, Kymaury Goldsby, 21 and Dorien Ervin, 21 of fraudulently requesting and receiving PUA benefits using stolen and requested personal information. They also each applied for benefits under their own name, although they were not entitled to the benefits because they were not unemployed due to the pandemic.

Lewis completed or assisted 19 applications using the personal information of others. Additionally, Lewis applied for multiple corporate loans under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, falsely claiming that he had companies suffering from COVID-19. Between May 2020 and March 2021, Lewis fraudulently obtained and helped others obtain $ 147,250 in PUA benefits. This amount includes the funds spent on the claims on Defendants’ own behalf as well as those submitted using the personal information of others.

To date, the Attorney General’s Office has charged 35 people across the Commonwealth, including 24 inmates and their accomplices, with filing fraudulent PUA claims totaling more than $ 3.2 million in illegally obtained PUA funds.

The PUA Act is a federal program that was created under the CARES Act. The PUA program offers unemployment benefits to workers who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. In Pennsylvania, the PUA program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (DLI), but its services are largely funded by the federal government.

People are only entitled to PUA benefits if they are both unemployed and gainfully employed for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To receive benefits, an individual must access the PUA website and submit a PUA claim. The applicant is obliged to enter personal data and answer the aptitude questions.

All three defendants were charged with theft by wrongful ingestion, criminal conspiracy to commit theft by wrongful ingestion, theft by fraud, criminal conspiracy to commit theft by fraud, and access device fraud. Lewis was also charged with corrupt organizations, identity theft, manipulation of public records and criminal use of a communications facility. This case is being followed up by Assistant Attorney General Megan Madaffari. All charges are allegations. The defendants are innocent until proven guilty.

# # #

Comments are closed.