Pennsylvania Inmate Sentenced for Pandemic Unemployment Fraud

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HARRISBURG, PA — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Jeovanny Shultz, age 28, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Mercer, was sentenced Friday by United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner to 11 months in prison for conspiring to steal pandemic funds.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Shultz pleaded guilty to conspiring with five others to file false claims for unemployment assistance during the pandemic. These defendants gathered personal identification information from inmates housed within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections system and filed unemployment claims. The payments were mailed to particular addresses in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, where the funds were accessed. Shultz arranged for the payment of approximately $11,000 in benefits which he was not entitled to obtain.

Andrew Marszalek, age 24, of New Cumberland, entered a guilty plea to the fraud conspiracy and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.  Nicholas Baggio, age 32, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy, entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and was sentenced to one year and a day in prison.  Alexis Figueroa, age 32, of Philadelphia, entered a guilty plea to the fraud conspiracy and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Oscar Martinez, age 30, an inmate at State Correctional Institution at Rockview, pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.  Joseph Powles, age 33, of Philadelphia, is wanted as a fugitive.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the United States Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Consiglio is prosecuting the case.

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All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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