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Case Number: 2:20-cr-00244-WSS
Judge: William S. Stickman
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (Allegheny County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Description: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with mail fraud.
Between June and July 2020, Amanda Fairfax, age 37, knowingly filed claims for PUA benefits on behalf of five individuals, all of which contained fraudulent statements. The U.S. Postal Service transported the resulting benefits to two addresses associated with Fairfax. In total, Fairfax fraudulently obtained $66,240.00 over the course of her scheme.
In order to combat the devastating impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the United States, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed into law. The CARES Act created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program, which provided unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended unemployment benefits. Individuals are eligible for PUA if they were unemployed due to the pandemic and could accept a job if one were offered
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
18 U.S.C. 1341 MAIL FRAUD
Outcome: Defendant sentenced to an 18-month term of imprisonment at Counts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, to be served concurrently, said term of imprisonment to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release at Counts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, to be served concurrently. $500.00 special assessment imposed, consisting of $100 at each count of conviction. Fine waived for inability pay. Restitution ordered in the amount of $66,240.