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My Wife Made Me Do It

Unemployment-Unemployment Insurance-10
Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Teldrin Foster and Carla Jackson had one thing in common. They claim that they happened to be two innocent by-standers who had been victimized by their scheming spouses. The ringleaders in a multi-million dollar unemployment benefit scheme. At least, that is what their argument was in federal court. On February 16, 2024, Foster and Jackson were standing trial on charges that they helped orchestrate a scheme to illegally obtain $11 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans. Their defense being that they were unwittingly involved in the fraud by their respective spouses. Who hasn’t blamed their spouse for something?

However, while Foster and Jackson were not the ring leaders in this massive scheme, they weren’t innocent spouses either. In total twenty-two people have been charged in this scheme to defraud the government from taking out false Paycheck Protection Program loans. Key to the success of this scheme was the fact that Foster’s wife worked for the Internal Revenue Service. Gena Pyfrom-Foster, who has already been found guilty in this scheme, served as the groups inside contact. She also worked with Foster to create the fake documents for the loan applications. Foster, himself, fraudulently provided within each application an IRS Form 941, which is used to report payroll taxes.

The loans were approved and deposited into businesses’ accounts such as Jackson’s. She and her husband owned a company that appeared to only exist on paper since it had no bank transactions prior to the scheme. And while Jackson claims her husband was the fraudster, records show that Jackson herself laundered those six figure deposits through transactions made to disguise that the funds came from fraudulently obtained monies.

Foster and Jacksons “my spouse set me up” claims failed to sway the jury. Foster was found guilty on multiple counts including money laundering, wire fraud, and bank fraud. Jackson was convicted on two counts of money laundering.

Excellent job by the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in this case.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “2 DeKalb County residents convicted of multi-million dollar COVID fraud, USDOJ says” published by WSVTV on February 17, 2024.

Officials announced Friday that Teldrin Foster and Carla Jackson were convicted by a federal jury in Atlanta on Thursday. The two, from Decatur and Tucker respectively, faced charges of a variety of types of financial fraud and money laundering.

As previously reported by Channel 2 Action News, they were first charged in 2021 among nearly two dozen people involved in the PPP fraud scheme, USDOJ said. During the investigation, federal officials seized almost $4 million in PPP loan proceeds, four luxury vehicles, and several jewelry items.

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