Eight Brooklyn Individuals Charged with Multi-Million Dollar Covid-19 Relief Fraud
Defendants Allegedly Obtained $2 Million by Submitting Fraudulent Claims for Unemployment Benefits
(STL.News) A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Bryan Abraham, Carlos Vazquez, Angel Cabrera, Armani Miller, Johan Santos, Gianni Stewart, Andre Ruddock and Seth Golding with conspiracy to commit access device fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain millions of dollars in unemployment insurance benefits funded, in whole or in part, by COVID-19 pandemic assistance programs. Six defendants were arrested this morning and will make their initial appearance this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes. Miller and Santos remain at large.
Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, New York Division (USPIS); Nikitas Splagounias, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, New York Region (DOL-OIG); and Roberta Reardon, Commissioner, New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL), announced the arrests and charges.
“As alleged, the defendants not only fraudulently obtained $2 million in pandemic-related unemployment benefits using information from third-party victims, they audaciously displayed the proceeds of their fraud – large amounts of stolen cash – on social media,” stated Acting United States Attorney Lesko.