A Wayne, MI man with a penchant for $700 bottles of booze and $300 pairs of shoes was arrested this week on charges he was using fake IDs to collect $275,000 in bogus unemployment from nine states, including Massachusetts.
Devin Smith, 30, was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was released on personal recognizance for arraignment in Boston, where he was formally charged, the US Attorney's office, reports.
According to an affidavit by a Department of Labor investigator, Smith submitted 12 Massachusetts unemployment claims under the names of various Massachusetts medical professional in March and April of 2020, using his Michigan address for payment via Bank of America debit cards. Then, on Sept. 13, 2020, he submitted his first fraudulent pandemic unemployment assistance claim under his own name - using a fake Massachusetts address, but a Michigan banks for payment.
Massachusetts quickly identified the accounts as potentially suspicious and forwarded their information, including their IP addresses, to the Department of Labor, which zeroed in on Smith's IP address. Smith continued his fraudulent Massachusetts unemployment claims through at least July 26, 2021, according to the affidavit.
Complete affidavit (1.4M PDF).
Other alleged Covid-19 fraudsters: