Leicester Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in COVID-19 Pandemic Fraud Scheme

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

BOSTON – A Leicester woman has pleaded guilty to her involvement in a pandemic unemployment fraud scheme.

Destinee Snay, 20, pleaded guilty on May 16, 2022 in federal court in Worcester to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Oct. 12, 2022. Snay was indicted in July 2021 along with co-defendant William Cordor.

From about June 2020 to about October 2020, Snay and Cordor conspired to file false and fraudulent claims for unemployment assistance in multiple states using stolen identities obtained from a variety of places including Facebook and from former fellow inmates at Worcester County House of Correction. To facilitate the scheme, Snay created phony email accounts on Gmail, AOL and Yahoo which she used to file the fraudulent claims. In total, Snay personally filed approximately 20 false and fraudulent unemployment claims for Massachusetts and other states. Snay and Cordor then transferred the funds into prepaid debit card accounts they obtained and used the proceeds to pay for hotels, rental cars, a trip to Miami and a shopping spree at Saks Fifth Avenue.

On Nov. 16, 2021, Cordor, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, 2022.

The charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge of Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations; and Mark Comorosky, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office, made the announcement. Valuable assistance in the case was provided by the Leicester and Marlboro Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Danial E. Bennet and John T. Mulcahy of Rollins’ Criminal Division are 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.