York Woman Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud Conspiracy Related To Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Benefits

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Tami Mateljan, age 46, of York, Pennsylvania, entered a plea of guilty before United States District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo for conspiring to commit wire fraud. 

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, between October 2020 and December 2020, conspirators submitted fraudulent applications for pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) to Colorado and Ohio, using the names and personal information of other individuals without authorization.  The states transferred the fraudulently obtained PUA benefits to accounts owned by Mateljan.  She then used some of the money for her own benefit and transferred the remaining money to conspirators in other countries, including Nigeria.  

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlo D. Marchioli is prosecuting the case.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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If convicted, the maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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