PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Levi Stroud, age 25, pleaded guilty to a one count of conspiracy before United States District Judge William S. Stickman
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Stroud conspired with his mother to commit mail fraud in connection with pandemic unemployment assistance benefits while he was incarcerated for a state conviction.
On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to be an emergency under Section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford disaster Relief and Emergency Act. Subsequently, on March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (which is frequently referred to as the CARES Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provided unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended unemployment benefits. The CARES Act also provided an emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits of $600.00 per week.
Following the guilty plea, Judge Stickman sentenced Stroud to seven months of imprisonment followed by one year of supervised release.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Levi Stroud.