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Feds cost man with COVID-19 fraud

A Castro Valley man has been charged in federal court docket with utilizing pandemic-related unemployment advantages — which he obtained by using the identities of individuals in one other state — for his personal private use, authorities mentioned Friday.

In a press release, the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Northern District of California mentioned Idowu Hashim Shittu, 46, was charged in a prison criticism that was unsealed Friday. In it, authorities allege Shittu tried to make use of private data from different folks to acquire unemployment advantages meant for these affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These advantages had been a part of the a whole bunch of billions of {dollars} in help that the federal authorities approved in March 2020 as a part of the Coronavirus Help, Aid and Financial Safety Act, authorities mentioned. The criticism alleges Shittu submitted requests for advantages and used a few of the proceeds for his personal private acquire.

Authorities mentioned within the criticism that Shittu was concerned in three circumstances and is charged with three counts of gadget fraud.

The primary incident got here in Could 2020, when the state of Washington’s employment safety division obtained a request for funds from a resident of Mercer Island, Wash., recognized solely as “S.O,” together with corresponding birthdate and social safety quantity data.

The following funds went on a reloadable debit card that was accessed at ATMs in San Jose, Hayward, and Castro Valley, authorities mentioned. “S.O.” subsequently advised authorities he had not been in California at any level in 2020, authorities mentioned.

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