Taunton Man Charged With Pandemic Unemployment And Mortgage Fraud | USAO-MA
BOSTON – A Taunton man was arrested today for making fraudulent allegations of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and for making false statements in support of a residential mortgage application.
Clark Grant, 38, has been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of misrepresenting a loan and credit application. Grant will make a first appearance in Boston this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. before US trial judge Judith G. Dein.
In March 2020, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act created a federal temporary unemployment insurance program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which in Massachusetts is administered by the Department of Unemployment Assistance. This program is designed to provide unemployment benefits to people who are not eligible for other types of unemployment benefits.
According to the prosecution documents, from around May 2020 to around September 2021, Grant fraudulently applied for and received around $ 67,950 in PUA benefits while working and earning a salary from his full-time job. In addition, from May 2021 to July 2021, Grant allegedly made false statements to a mortgage lender in order to fraudulently obtain a residential mortgage loan in the amount of approximately $ 410,000.
The wire fraud charge carries 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 misrepresenting a loan and credit application carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, up to five years on probation and a fine of up to $ 1 million. Sentences are imposed by a judge in a federal district court based on US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting US Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Ketty Larco-Ward, inspector in charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Jonathan Mellone, special agent in charge of the US Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, labor racketeering and fraud investigations; Joleen D. Simpson, special agent in charge of criminal investigations for the Internal Revenue Service in Boston; and Massachusetts Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha made the announcement today. The Taunton Police Department provided invaluable assistance. Deputy U.S. Prosecutors Dustin Chao and Adam Deitch of Mendell’s Criminal Division are continuing the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Working Group to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with government agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent the pandemic fraud. The Working Group strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable national and international criminal actors and assists agencies responsible for administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by scaling up and integrating mechanisms coordination, identifying resources and techniques for uncovering fraudulent actors and their programs, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous 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.
Details contained in the indictment documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until his guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.