NJ man admits stealing more than $ 450,000 in unemployment benefits

NEWARK – A man from Union Township pleaded guilty on Monday to illegally obtaining more than $ 450,000 in unemployment insurance benefits under programs created in response to the pandemic.

Acting US lawyer Rachael A. Honig said Maurice Mills, 29, who also resides in New York City, admitted to wire fraud during a virtual appearance before US District Judge Brian Martinotti.

Mills defrauded New York’s unemployment system, not New Jersey’s, and in particular the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation established in March 2020 by law. federal CARES.

PUA has provided benefits to people who are not eligible for traditional unemployment compensation, such as the self-employed, independent contractors, and workers in the odd-job economy. The FPUC provided an additional $ 600 per week, later reduced to $ 300 per week, in unemployment benefits. Both programs expired earlier this month.

Prosecutors say Mills obtained personally identifying information, including names, from other people and submitted fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits from his Union residence in New York between August and September of l ‘last year. As a result, Mills falsely obtained over $ 450,000 in benefits.

Mills faces penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of more than $ 900,000 – double the gross profits of the fraud. The government seeks to seize by confiscation any property obtained in the context of the fraud.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 3, 2022.

Michael Symons is the State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].

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