Welcome to the
Fraud of the Day Website!

Close this search box.

Not Worth The Hype

hand holding American dollar currency isolated on blurred blackground injured woman with broken hand and green cast on arm, insurance health concept.
Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

They didn’t call Michael Akame Ngwese Ay Makoge the “Hype” for nothing. After all, the synonym to “hype” is “fraud.” And Makoge was a fraud. But his buddies must have seen that as a good thing, or they wouldn’t have joined Makoge in his scheme to defraud the U.S. taxpayer. Starting in March 2020, Makoge convinced his buddies to submit fraudulent claims for COVID-19 pandemic-related unemployment insurance benefits in Maryland and California, using stolen identities. Talking about hype.

Makoge and his co-conspirators obtained the birthdates, social security numbers, and other personal identifying information (“PII”) of numerous victims which they used to prepare these fraudulent applications. In all, Makoge and his buddies submitted more than two hundred fraudulent unemployment insurance claims using the names and PII of their victims. And received more than $1.6 million in fraudulent benefits. Who wouldn’t get hyped up about that?

Without their permission, Makoge impersonated the victims whose identities he fraudulently used in his scheme, to open bank accounts. When your nickname is “Hype”, who needs permission? The fraudulent unemployment benefits obtained from Makoge’s scheme were loaded onto debit cards and mailed to addresses provided and monitored by Makoge and his buds. Once Makoge fraudulently obtained benefits on the debit cards, he used them for cash withdrawals and other transactions for his own financial benefit.

On March 3, 2024, Makoge was sentenced to fifty-three months in federal prison, where he will for sure obtain a new nickname.

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

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Laurel man sentenced to federal prison after $1.6 million pandemic scheme” published by the Baltimore Sun on March 3, 2024.

A Prince George’s County man was sentenced to 53 months in federal prison for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to steal more than $1.6 million in unemployment insurance benefits related to the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Court Judge Brendan A. Hurson issued the sentence to Michael Akame Ngwese Ay Makoge, 29, of Laurel, as part of a plea deal in which Makoge admitted that he and a group of co-conspirators impersonated victims in order to submit fraudulent claims for the pandemic-related benefits in Maryland and California in 2020 and 2021, according to a statement the U.S. Department of Justice released Friday.

Related Articles

Get Your Fraud Fix!

Five days a week wake up to the most current fraud article in your inbox

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in Fraud of the Day. For more information, please complete the following form.
To receive the most current fraud articles direct to your inbox, click the Subscribe button above.

"*" indicates required fields

Would you like to subscribe to our Blog?
We respect your privacy.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Fill out the form below to receive the Daily Fraud Highlight, the Weekly Fraud Summary or both. Thank you for your interest in FraudoftheDay.com.

"*" indicates required fields

Subscription Type*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.