Southfield man pleads guilty to stealing $400,000 from COVID-19 relief funds – The Oakland Press

A Southfield man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $400,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.

As noted in a Justice Department press release, Samuel George Baker, 38, pleaded guilty on March 29 to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with his scheme to defraud two labor agencies. state work and the Small Business Administration.

According to court records, Baker submitted false claims for approximately $370,000 in unemployment insurance benefits in Michigan and Pennsylvania, using people’s names and identity information without their knowledge or permission. The program ran from at least May 8, 2020 to July 28, 2020.

In each application submitted, Baker falsely stated that the individuals were out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also fraudulently obtained a $47,000 economic disaster loan from the Small Business Administration. The benefits were distributed via debit cards which were used to withdraw funds from ATMs throughout metropolitan Detroit.

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