The pandemic unemployment program was rife with fraud. Overburdened by a mass of people suddenly making claims, state governments handed out the freshly-printed money like candy. As a result, many fraudulent claims were submitted and many dollars were paid out based on those fraudulent claims. California, for example, spent about $20 billion on fraudulent claims.
It would have been bad enough were it Americans stealing all that money, But, predictably, because it’s not only Americans that are lawbreakers, illegal immigrants here dabbled in the pandemic unemployment fraud line of enrichment too, some of them doing so quite successfully.
One such highly successful pandemic unemployment fraudster is Yohauris Rodriguez Hernandez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic and previously deported illegal immigrant that snuck back into the United States and then was arrested in New York after stealing $1.9 million from the unemployment program through fraud.
Previously, Hernandez was arrested for fraud and deported after her arrest. According to Just the News, she was convicted in 2014 of running a tax fraud scheme in which she submitted tens of thousands of income tax returns, for which she used about 40,000 stolen identities, and then collected the tax returns from the IRS. She stole the identities of Americans and then stole money from our government through tax fraud.
Then, after being convicted in 2014 she spent three years in jail. When her time was up, she was deported back to the Dominican Republic. Like Napoleon being sent to St. Elba for his first exile and quickly escaping, the Dominican Republic couldn’t hold Ms. Hernandez for long. She quickly illegally immigrated back to the US, getting here just in time to start stealing more money from the government.
Once here, she and a coconspirator submitted unemployment claims using more stolen identities to collect weekly unemployment checks from the government. Rather than even trying to work, the illegal went straight to crime, again. As mentioned beforehand, she stole about $2 milliion from the pandemic unemployment program.
Describing what happened in slightly more detail, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, the one charging Ms. Hernandez, said: “As alleged, the defendant participated in a scheme to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 unemployment benefits under the names and social security numbers of at least 100 other people, which attempted to steal more than $1.9 million and resulted in the fraudulent disbursement of more than $500,000. The defendant is now in custody and facing serious federal charges.”
And how did Ms. Hernandez get caught by Mr. Williams and his team? Here’s what the complaint alleges:
From February 2020 through December 2020, YOHAURIS RODRIGUEZ HERNANDEZ and a co-conspirator (“CC-1”) engaged in a scheme to obtain COVID-19 unemployment benefits through the fraudulent filing and verification of applications using the names and social security numbers of at least 100 other people. Law enforcement agencies were first alerted to the scheme after YOHAURIS RODRIGUEZ HERNANDEZ and CC-1 fled a Yonkers hotel in December 2020 leaving behind in their previously occupied room over 500 pieces of NYS DOL mail containing information and NYS DOL-issued debit cards for approximately 76 individuals.
This is why illegal immigration is a problem. It’s not just that they’re invaders, they’re also criminals. Why would we expect those who don’t even respect our border laws to abide by our other laws?