Providence Man Admits Fraudulently Claiming COVID Unemployment Benefits | USAO-RI
PROVIDENCE, RI – A Providence man admitted in federal court today that he fraudulently filed for unemployment benefits under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act and the Pandemic Unemployment program Assistance (PUA), announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha.
Deesawn Gadson, 32, pleaded guilty to wire fraud.
According to the charging documents, in April 2020, Gadson, who lived and worked in Rhode Island, submitted online applications to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT) for benefits made available by the CARES law. In May 2020, Gadson began receiving RIDLT benefits. He received about $20,302 in unemployment benefits.
In June 2020, Gadson submitted a fraudulent online application to the Arizona State Department of Economic Security, falsely stating that he lived and worked in Arizona. Gadson received $7,170 in UAP program benefits that he was not legally entitled to receive.
Gadson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 25, 2022.
This case, along with other cases of criminal activity related to fraudulent claims for unemployment insurance benefits related to the pandemic, are being jointly investigated by the FBI, the State Police of Rhode Island and the US Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General. Cases are being investigated, charged and prosecuted jointly by a team of prosecutors including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Denise M. Barton, Stacey P. Veroni and G. Michael Seaman, and Rhode Island Assistant Attorney General John M. Moreira, Chief of Rhodes. Island Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit.
Rhode Islanders who believe their personal identification was stolen and used to fraudulently obtain unemployment benefits are urged to contact the Rhode Island State Police at [email protected] or the FBI office Providence at (401) 272-8310.
On May 17, 2021, the United States Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Justice Department resources in partnership with government agencies to bolster enforcement efforts. and prevention of pandemic-related fraud. The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by increasing and integrating coordination mechanisms existing ones, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their agendas, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information about the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about alleged 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’s online complaint form at: https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.