PONTIAC, MI (WXYZ) — The Department of Justice have charged two Pontiac men for their roles in defrauding the government out of $4 million in Unemployment Insurance benefits.
According to the criminal complaint Jermaine Arnett, 34, of Pontiac, Michigan, and Terrance Calhoun, Jr., 32, also of Pontiac, Michigan, have been charged with aggravated identity theft, mail fraud, fraud using a false name and address, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit each of those acts, as well as firearm crimes.
According to the complaint, the two men and others are responsible for filing over 500 claims for fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits across the United States. The complaint says the men had access to multiple debit cards loaded with these benefits.
The DOJ says those false claims resulted in multiple states collectively issuing more than $4 million in unemployment insurance benefits to the men between April and July 2020.
As described by the complaint, those false claims resulted in numerous debit cards loaded with unemployment insurance funds being mailed to addresses that Arnett, Calhoun Jr., and others controlled. The complaint alleges that Arnett, Calhoun Jr., and other individuals then systematically unloaded the funds from the cards by making large cash withdrawals at ATMs.
According to the complaint, between April and July 2020 those false claims resulted in multiple states collectively issuing more than $4 million in unemployment insurance benefits.
In that time frame, the complaint alleges that more than $1.7 million in purchases and cash withdrawals were successfully made, and the majority of those cash withdrawals took place at ATMs located in Troy, Bloomfield Hills, and Rochester Hills, Michigan.