NAYZE MEDIA (STAFF)
Cover Photo Courtesy: Philly Voice
Eight city of Philadelphia employees have reportedly been charged with fraud and other charges related to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was made available during the height of the Covid pandemic. According to a report from YourErie.com, eight individuals conspired to illegally obtain PUA funds in excess of $300,000.
The eight defendants are accused of fraudulently applying for the benefits between February 2020 thru September 2020. All eight claimed their employment had ended due to the pandemic. Prosecutors said, all eight were employed by the city during the months they collected PUA funds. Each individual reportedly receive between $20,000 – $60,000 in PUA money.
So far, at least 63 Pennsylvanians have been arrested for PUA fraud of some sort. U.S. Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, said more arrests should be expected in the future.
“These arrests are an important reminder that falsely applying for unemployment benefits is a serious crime. These individuals took money away from taxpayers, and we will fight to get these funds repaid. I commend the city of Philadelphia for investigating this fraud and I encourage others to do the same. If you made some extra cash during the pandemic by fraudulently applying for PUA benefits—turn yourself in and get on a payment plan to repay the taxpayer money stolen. Do the right thing, or potentially face charges. Don’t wait for us to knock on your door.” Shapiro said on Thursday afternoon after announcing the arrests.