Daniel Lucero and Makallyn Hunt didn’t need the dark web to get stolen identities for fraud schemes. These two just walked around neighborhoods and grabbed everyone’s mail. Lucero and Hunt broke into hundreds of mailboxes in Arizona and Colorado during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to steal identities. After all, there was a massive fraud opportunity presented to them thanks to the pandemic, and Lucero and Hunt were going to try to make the most of it. They almost did.
Lucero and Hunt applied for the COVID-19 unemployment insurance relief funds by using the information they stole out of personal mailboxes but used their own mailing addresses for correspondence. By the time an investigation was conducted, the Glendale Police Department and the Labor Department found the happy couple in possession of thousands of personal identifying information and dozens of fraudulently acquired prepaid debit cards totaling almost a half a million dollars. Many of the victims were elderly individuals, unaware their identities had been stolen and used to apply for assistance.
Both Hunt and Lucero were ordered to pay $46,741 to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and $181,746 to the Arizona Department of Economic Security, a total of $228,487, and one and a half years in prison.
Shout out to the Department of Labor in this investigation.
Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “2 sentenced in Arizona in connection to Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Fraud” published by Arizona Republic on April 11, 2023
The Arizona Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday that two people were sentenced on theft and stolen identity charges in connection to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Daniel Lucero, 34, and Makallyn Hunt, 22, were sentenced in Maricopa County Superior Court. They were accused in an indictment of breaking into hundreds of mailboxes in Arizona and Colorado and stealing victims’ identities to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance payments.