One fraudster. Two schemes. Two states. One scheme isn’t worse than the other. But one scheme couldn’t have happened without the other either. There is no chicken before the egg debate here. Because James McAuliffe could not have filed for thousands of dollars in fraudulent unemployment benefits from the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation department without first obtaining stolen identities from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. All while living in Arizona.
On Augst 29, 2023, James McAuliffe pleaded guilty to COVID-19 Unemployment Fraud and identity theft from Maine. According to the Justice Department, McAuliffe filed fraudulent applications for replacement driver’s licenses with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. He changed the drivers’ mailing addresses to his home in Arizona. He then used the licenses as proof of identification to apply for fraudulent applications for unemployment payments with the Maine Department of Labor from January to November of 2020. McAuliffe had the unemployment benefits loaded onto debit cards and wired into an account he opened in another person’s name. Heck, he had a few extra stolen identities sitting around. Might as well open up a bank account. He then withdrew the money for his own personal use.
Great job by the COVID-19 Fraud Task Unit. The charges against McAuliffe were part of a coordinated, national effort to prosecute COVID-19 fraud that included over seven hundred criminal charges against almost four hundred defendants for offenses related to more than $836 million in alleged COVID-19 fraud.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Man pleads guilty to stealing Mainers’ identities for pandemic unemployment scheme” published by Bangor News on August 29, 2023
A former Arizona man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland Tuesday to six counts of wire fraud and six counts of aggravated identity theft after allegedly filing false claims for unemployment insurance benefits using identities of Maine residents, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Tuesday.
According to the Justice Department, James McAuliffe, 55, filed fraudulent applications for unemployment payments with the Maine Department of Labor from January to November 2020 using other people’s personal identifying information without their knowledge or consent.