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Upstate NY man sentenced 41 months for unemployment fraud that netted $701,000 in pandemic relief funds

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  • Staff Report 

Jamie Johnson, a 38-year-old resident of Albany, has been sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to filing fraudulent unemployment insurance applications to illicitly obtain $701,441 in pandemic relief funds. Johnson exploited the New York State Department of Labor’s online systems, using stolen personal information to apply for benefits under other individuals’ names, including those from federal programs designed to support unemployed New Yorkers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The sentencing, carried out by Senior United States District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn, also includes a 3-year supervised release following her imprisonment, restitution of the full amount to the State of New York, and the forfeiture of her Maserati vehicle, over $200,000 in cash, and various jewelry items. Johnson’s co-conspirators, who provided her with the personal information used in the fraud, received sentences ranging from time served to 12 months.

This case highlights the collaborative effort of multiple agencies, including the New York State Inspector General’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, to combat pandemic-related fraud. Johnson’s sentencing contributes to the broader initiative of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force, established by the Attorney General to prevent and prosecute fraud linked to the pandemic.