Providence man pleads guilty to unemployment fraud

PROVIDENCE – A city man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for submitting fraudulent online applications seeking pandemic-related unemployment benefits from eight states, while already collecting benefits in Rhode Island.

Vallah Brown, 30, admitted to filing fraudulent online applications seeking Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funded unemployment benefits from Massachusetts, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, California, Texas, New York and Louisiana, U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Cunha announced on Thursday. Brown claimed he was a resident of each of those states and was unemployed.

Investigators say Brown fraudulently collected $49,000 from those eight states.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on April 22.

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