Today, a former U.S. Postal Service USPS employee admitted that he conspired to fraudulently obtain unemployment insurance benefits, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
According to U.S. Attorney Sellinger, Ross Clayton, 31, of Irvington, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with conspiring to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law.
The CARES Act created a new temporary federal unemployment insurance program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provided unemployment insurance benefits for individuals who were not eligible for other types of unemployment (the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers).
The CARES Act also created a new temporary federal program called Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (FPUC) that provided an additional $600 weekly benefit to those eligible for PUA and regular unemployment insurance benefits.
Clayton was a USPS employee. Clayton took unemployment insurance benefits-related mail, including debit cards, from a USPS location in New Jersey and used that mail to obtain unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.