Inmates charged for illegally obtaining COVID-19 benefits

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ) — Thirty-three people have been charged in federal and state criminal complaints for illegally obtaining COVID-19 relief through the CARES Act.

These 33 people include inmates at eight state and county jails and prisons across western Pennsylvania and their accomplices, according to Attorney General Josh Shapiro and U.S. Attorney Scott Brady.

“The people accused today cooked up this scheme from behind bars to steal unemployment
benefits that should’ve gone to families in our area who are out of work and trying to feed their
families,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman.

Shapiro said that the defendants took advantage of a public health emergency to cash in on the backs of working people across the commonwealth.

“They rip-offed off a program meant for everyday people whose lives were uprooted by COVID-19, some doing so from jail cells in local Pennsylvania prisons,” Shapiro said.

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