ALBANY, NEW YORK – Ivis Jorge, 44, a former inmate at Riverview Correctional Facility in Ogdensburg, New York, and Pamela Febo, 38, of Keansburg, New Jersey, were arraigned today on charges of charge alleging a fraudulent scheme to obtain unemployment insurance benefits, including benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic, from programs administered by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).
The announcement was made by US attorney Carla B. Freedman; Janeen DiGuiseppi, special agent in charge of the Albany field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Anthony J. Annucci, Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDOCCS); and NYSDOL Commissioner Roberta Reardon.
The indictment alleges a conspiracy to submit a fraudulent unemployment insurance claim to NYSDOL using Jorge’s personal identifying information. Febo reportedly submitted the request to Jorge’s management in October 2020 and continued to re-certify Jorge’s benefits eligibility every week for approximately four months, knowing that Jorge was incarcerated and not “capable and available to start working immediately”. NYSDOL paid over $27,000 in benefits on the claim. The charges in the indictment are just charges. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Jorge, who remains incarcerated by New York State, waived a detention hearing and U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart ordered his detention in federal custody pending trial. Febo was released.
Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, as well as numerous counts of wire fraud. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a supervised release sentence of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular law the defendant is accused of breaking, US sentencing guidelines, and other factors.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, the NYSDOCCS Office of Special Investigations and the NYSDOL Office of Special Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Chisholm.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Department of Justice resources in partnership with government agencies to scale up enforcement and prevention efforts. 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 on 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 NCDF’s online complaint form at: https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.