A Benton Harbor woman was sentenced to 124 months in prison for her role related to pandemic fraud schemes. Roshell Beaty, 46, used these schemes to obtain over $1 million in Covid-19 relief funds. Previously, Beaty pled guilty to two counts of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and one count of Aggravated Identity theft.
U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said quote “Federal pandemic dollars were meant to protect people who had fallen on hard times. Beaty and her co-defendants deliberately devised a multi-state plan to commit fraud and steal over a million dollars. My office will continue to aggressively hold accountable scam artists and cheats who steal hard-earned taxpayer dollars.” end quote.
While the Covid pandemic was in full swing, Beaty and her family stole $1,036,870 in relief funds. During this time the federal government provided money to states to distribute to people who were not able to work. Beaty and her co-defendants stole $749,086 of unemployment insurance money from Michigan, California, Indiana, Illinois, and Arizona, which they were not entitled to. This was done by filing unemployment insurance claims in their own names in multiple states, including states where they did not live or work. Beaty also filed unemployment insurance claims using fake identification documents. A sum of $287,784, designated for loans to support struggling businesses experiencing a decline in their operations, was also unlawfully taken. Beaty, the leader of the group, enlisted the help of five family members to file these fraudulent claims.