Philadelphia Woman Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison For Pandemic Unemployment Fraud

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Alexis Figueroa, age 32, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiring to steal pandemic funds. She was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Figueroa pled guilty to conspiring with five others to file false claims for unemployment assistance during the pandemic. These defendants gathered personal identification information from inmates housed within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections system and filed unemployment claims. The payments were mailed to particular addresses in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, where the funds were accessed. The conspirators arranged for the payment of approximately $94,000 in benefits which they were not entitled to obtain.

Andrew Marszalek, age 24, of New Cumberland, entered a guilty plea to the fraud conspiracy. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.  Nicholas Baggio, age 32, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He was sentenced to one year and day in prison.  Jeovanny Shultz, age 28, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Mercer, entered a guilty plea and is awaiting sentencing. Oscar Martinez, age 30, an inmate at State Correctional Institution at Rockview, has also entered a guilty plea and is awaiting sentencing.

Joshua Powles, age 33, of Philadelphia, is wanted as a fugitive.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the United States Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Consiglio is prosecuting the case.

All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.    

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