ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — An Illinois man was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to mail fraud and identity theft.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Robert Carter, 29, of Homewood,
filed COVID-19 unemployment aid claims with the state of Maryland, had debit cards sent to residences in Illinois, and collected the funds through ATMs in Illinois.
Prosecutors said Carter and others schemed to submit the fraudulent claims from June through August 2020, resulting in more than $506,000 in benefits for “claimants who he knew were not entitled to benefits and who did not work or live in Maryland.”
“Robert Carter engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $1 million in unemployment insurance funds by applying for benefits in the names of identity theft victims,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Region of the Department of Labor, Irene Lindow. “Carter stole benefits set aside by the federal government to assist American workers struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their strong partnership and collaboration on these types of investigations.”