Boston Man Charged with Pandemic Fraud, Identity Theft, Firearm and Drug Offenses

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

BOSTON – A Boston man has been charged and has agreed to plead guilty to fraud, identity theft, firearm and drug offenses.

Jammy Alphonse, 28, was charged and has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, false representation of a Social Security number, aggravated identity theft, possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled by the Court. Alphonse was previously arrested and charged in August 2021 with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon following a shooting in Cambridge, Mass., in July 2021. Alphonse has remained in custody since that date.

According to the charging documents, beginning in or around May 2020, Alphonse conspired to obtain Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, which were made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Specifically, Alphonse conspired to submit false PUA claims in other persons’ names and using other persons’ personally identifiable information. It is alleged that Alphonse and his co-conspirators created email accounts for the purpose of submitting fraudulent PUA claims from Alphonse’s Everett residence and other locations. The fraudulently obtained funds were then directed into accounts held in Alphonse’s name or in the name of a co-conspirator.

Additionally, in February 2021, Alphonse allegedly submitted an application to rent a property in East Boston using the name, Social Security number and date of birth of another person. As a result, Alphonse resided in that apartment from approximately February 2021 through Aug. 6, 2021, when he was arrested on a federal firearms offense. A search of the apartment recovered a loaded Glock model 43X, 9-millimeter firearm, 47 rounds of ammunition and 40 grams or more of fentanyl, among other things.

The charge of wire fraud conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of false representation of a social security number provides for a sentence of up to five years, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed, up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison, up to four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. The sentences are imposed by a federal district judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Mark Comorosky, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office; Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge of Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Boston Police Acting Commissioner Gregory Long; and Cambridge Police Commissioner Christine Elow made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit 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.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.