A Southfield Woman Has Been Charged with Unemployment Insurance Benefit Fraud Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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DETROIT – A Southfield, Michigan woman was charged in a criminal complaint for allegedly making false and fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims filed in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.

Joining in this announcement were Irene Lindow, Special Agent-in-Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge John Marengo, United States Secret Service’s Detroit Field Office and Julia Dale, Director, Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Katrina Patreese Maddox, 46, is charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Maddox was arrested today and will be appearing in federal court in Detroit this afternoon.

The complaint alleges that from May 2020 through December 2021, Maddox used the identities of other people to file over 35 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims and that illegally obtained benefits cards were used, among other things, to make court payments and DoorDash deliveries for Maddox as well as cash withdrawals. Approximately $311,440 in benefits was paid out as a result of the scheme, and the potential loss to the government was over $1.2 million.

A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Trial cannot be held on felony charges in a complaint.  When the investigations are completed, determinations will be made whether to seek felony indictments. 

This case is being investigated by agents of the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General with the assistance of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Chasteen and Sarah Youngblood.