The man received $ 255,052 after filing fake jobless claims using the identity of others, said acting U.S. attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
A Corpus Christi man was taken to federal prison after officials admitted fraudulently receiving unemployment benefits.
A Justice Department statement said 29-year-old William Cleveland Peck pleaded guilty to fraud on October 22, 2020. On Tuesday, US District Judge David S. Morales ordered a 41-month sentence to be served, immediately followed by a three-year custodial release.
Peck developed a system of fraudulent misappropriation of $ 255,052 unemployment benefits “intended for those facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said acting US attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
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As part of his guilty plea, Peck admitted using personal information such as social security numbers and dates of birth for multiple people. Peck then used this information to file multiple bogus and fraudulent claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and general unemployment benefits between May and July 2020, US prosecutors said.
Peck also admitted to having committed email fraud by using the fake identities to file false and fraudulent claims with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), prompting TWC to send debit cards to a Peck mailbox in use.
Peck then used the debit cards to withdraw cash and make purchases. The individuals Peck was making false claims under were not Texas residents, were not eligible for TWC benefits, and did not authorize Peck to make such claims.
Peck was allowed to remain in custody and voluntarily surrender to a US Bureau of Prisons facility that was to be established in the near future.
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