United States Lawyer Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. introduced that U.S. District Choose Brian A. Jackson sentenced Shawnda Augustus, age 41, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 75 months in federal jail following her convictions for wire fraud and aggravated identification theft in reference to fraudulent scheme to acquire unemployment advantages. The Courtroom additional sentenced Augustus to serve three years of supervised launch following her time period of imprisonment and ordered her to pay restitution within the quantity of $361,074 to state unemployment businesses in Louisiana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and New Mexico.
In response to admissions made as part of her responsible plea, following the floods of 2016, Augustus engaged in a scheme to defraud and to acquire cash from FEMA by submitting fraudulent purposes for catastrophe unemployment help (DUA) advantages to the Louisiana Workforce Fee, each in her personal title, and within the names of different victims, with out their data or consent. On account of the scheme, Augustus submitted or brought on to be submitted roughly forty (40) fraudulent DUA claims.
Starting in March 2020 and persevering with by no less than January 2021, Augustus engaged in multi-state fraud scheme to acquire pandemic unemployment help (PUA) advantages to which she was not entitled. Augustus submitted fraudulent purposes for PUA advantages in Louisiana, and in a number of different states, together with Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, Hawaii, and Nebraska, amongst others. Augustus additionally obtained the non-public figuring out info of victims, together with names, dates of delivery, and Social Safety numbers. Utilizing these stolen identities, Augustus submitted roughly twenty-nine (29) false and fraudulent purposes for PUA advantages to state unemployment businesses within the names of these victims each in Louisiana and in a number of different states.
In response to the plea settlement, Augustus obtained roughly $123,908 in false claims for PUA advantages. Augustus withdrew the funds as money, or used the funds to pay for accommodations, airline tickets, and purchases at eating places and retail shops.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Division of Labor and prosecuted by Assistant United States Lawyer Kristen L. Craig.