Massachusetts Man Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Fraud
As a response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. As part of that act, one provision established the temporary federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program – administered in Massachusetts by the Department of Unemployment Assistance. This provides unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular state benefits.
Early Life and Education
Daniel Maleus of Stoneham pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a COVID-19 fraud scheme on Wednesday, admitted using stolen personal information to submit fraudulent unemployment assistance claims through state’s pandemic unemployment assistance program and fraudulent employment claims submitted as part of state pandemic unemployment assistance program; investigation conducted as part of COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
Federal officials report that he and his co-conspirators received over $250,000 through fraudulent unemployment claims submitted from April 2020-2021, creating multiple fake email accounts in their victims’ names before diverting payments directly into bank accounts they controlled.
Nguyen, 24, of Massachusetts pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and identity theft and will serve two years in prison before paying $526,423 as restitution.
Congress responded to the global coronavirus pandemic by passing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), also known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA program – providing unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals and gig economy workers not eligible for other types of unemployment insurance benefits.
Daniel Maleus allegedly filed more than 50 fraudulent PUA claims between April 2020 and April 2021 using stolen personal data, such as email accounts created in their names for fraudulent claims payments to bank accounts that he controlled.
In November, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft, along with one count of aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to repay $526,423 as restitution.
Achievement and Honors
Daniel Maleus has appeared as a guest artist with the Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet to perform Terry Riley’s classic work In C, while also hosting the popular podcast Against All Odds that explores topics like art and activism.
In April 2020, Dmal and co-conspirator Lilly Nguyen filed more than 50 fraudulent Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims using stolen identity information to create fake email accounts and direct payments directly into bank accounts controlled by them.
Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March 2020 in response to a global coronavirus pandemic, creating the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance administered the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for those not eligible for other forms of unemployment benefits such as self-employed or gig economy workers.
Prosecutors allege that Maleus and Lilly Nguyen of Stoneham colluded in filing fraudulent claims using stolen personal information obtained illegally, then using email accounts created in their victims’ names to redirect PUA program payments directly into bank accounts controlled by themselves – amassing over $250,000 between April 2020 and April 2021.
In November, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was then sentenced to three years of incarceration with $526,423 owed as restitution.