12/06/2024

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6 people from Benton Harbor charged in  million COVID fraud schemes

6 people from Benton Harbor charged in $1 million COVID fraud schemes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WNDU) – 6 people today from Benton Harbor have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges relating to pandemic fraud techniques they applied to get hold of more than $1 million in COVID-19 relief, which include fraudulently acquired unemployment insurance coverage advantages and small enterprise loans.

The pursuing folks are charged in the indictment are:

  • Roshell Beaty (aka Roshell Clinton, Angel Clinton, and Angel Beaty), 45, of Benton Harbor
  • Melvin Clinton (Beaty’s son), 21, of Benton Harbor
  • Danielle Department (aka Danielle Beaty – Beaty’s daughter), 28, of Benton Harbor
  • Christopher Department (Beaty’s son), 27, a resident of the Atlanta, Ga place who is from Benton Harbor.
  • Christopher Bates, 22, of Benton Harbor
  • Brianna Rimpson, 24, a resident of the Grand Rapids spot who previously lived in Benton Harbor

The indictment alleges that, among April 2020 and December 2021, they all conspired to commit wire fraud by distributing falsified and fraudulent statements and certifications for pandemic unemployment insurance benefits in their possess names and in the names of third parties, some of whom were being victims of identification theft.

In accordance to the indictment, they all submitted at minimum 98 fake and fraudulent unemployment insurance plan promises and relevant certifications in many states in the names of at minimum 61 diverse people. In reaction to all those claims, the states of Michigan, Indiana, California, Illinois, and Arizona paid out extra than $764,000 in pandemic unemployment insurance advantages.

All six of them have been also billed with respective counts of wire fraud associated to pandemic unemployment insurance policies fraud. Beaty and Christopher Branch are billed with various counts of aggravated identity theft for applying the signifies of identification of other individuals without having lawful authority in connection with the unemployment insurance coverage wire fraud conspiracy. Defendants Beaty, Clinton, Danielle Branch, and Bates are every single charged with fraud in link with unexpected emergency added benefits.

In addition to rates stemming from unemployment insurance fraud schemes, 5 of the 6 people are billed in the indictment with various counts of wire fraud and conspiring to dedicate wire fraud in relationship with their alleged fraudulent receipt of financial loans meant to alleviate modest businesses of burdens and expenditures connected with the pandemic. Beaty and Clinton experience costs for an Financial Injury Catastrophe Loan in the total of $49,900, for a “so-called” hair and nail salon belonging to Clinton with 10 employees. The indictment alleges that mortgage proceeds had been utilized to purchase a 2017 Jaguar F-Pace SUV. Beaty, Clinton, Danielle Branch, Bates, and Rimpson are charged in connection with Paycheck Protection Software loans totaling $258,148 for “so-called” little enterprises.

A conviction for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, or wire fraud, in connection with a declared key disaster or nationwide emergency is subject matter to a prison expression of up to 30 decades and a wonderful of up to $1,000,000, between other penalties. A conviction for aggravated identity theft carries a obligatory prison term of two many years to be served consecutively to any other sentence(s) imposed.