Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing $1.6M in Unemployment Insurance Benefits From Nine States

The United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan, says a Detroit man pleaded guilty on Nov. 10 to wire fraud and identity theft in a scheme to defraud nine states out of more than $1.6 million in unemployment insurance benefits.

They state that according to court records, beginning on or around May 4, 2020 and continuing through Oct. 21, 2020, 29-year-old Jordan Armstrong of Detroit, with the intent to defraud, submitted applications for unemployment insurance benefits on behalf of people in Michigan, California, Texas, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Massachusetts, New York and Louisiana.

Additionally, Armstrong unsuccessfully submitted claims in eight other states in a total filing of more than 300 claims across 17 states.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan, Armstrong submitted the claims using individual’s social security numbers, and did so without their permission.

They say Armstrong directed the benefits to be paid out on debit cards and then used the cards to repeatedly withdraw funds through ATMs in Metro Detroit.

The office says as part of Armstrong’s guilty plea, he will be required to pay restitution to the victim-states in the total amount of $1,611,202.

They say Armstrong faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment on the charge of wire fraud and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years imprisonment on the charge of identity theft.

Armstrong is expected to be sentenced in March 2022.