Depew Woman Ordered to Perform Community Service for Fraudulently Obtaining COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits

Modified: November 10, 2021 1:06pm

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Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 56-year-old Julieann McCarty of Depew was sentenced yesterday morning before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Debra L. Givens to a three-year conditional discharge.

An investigation uncovered that multiple bank accounts were opened for the purpose of depositing illegally obtained COVID-19 benefits from state and federal agencies between May of 2020 and July of 2021. The bank accounts, linked to the defendant by her address, were identified as being used for the delivery of funds from falsified unemployment benefit applications and a Small Business Association loan.

The defendant admitted that she acted as a “money mule” for an unknown person for the purposes of fraudulently receiving the funds from the federal government and several different states. After receiving the funds, the defendant transferred the illegally obtained money to other unidentified parties. The total loss to state and federal government agencies exceeded $100,000. The defendant also retained $5,000 in fraudulent benefits for herself.    

McCarty pleaded guilty to one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (Class “E” felony). She pleaded guilty to the highest sustainable charge on August 11, 2021.

As part of her sentence, McCarty was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. The defendant has paid full restitution for the benefits she retained during the course of the crime.  

DA Flynn commends the US Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, US Secret Service, US Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, and US Postal Inspection Service for their work in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Chief Candace K. Vogel of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions (SIP) Bureau.