WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – A Melvindale resident was sentenced Thursday to 70 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with an unemployment compensation scheme, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced Friday.
LeRoy Constantine, 33, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith, who also ordered Constantine to pay full restitution in the amount of $188,946. Constantine will also have three years of supervised release.
According to information provided to the court at the June 4 guilty plea, from April 2016 through May 2016, Constantine obtained personal identifying information of unsuspecting victims, including their names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, and submitted false claims to the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency for unemployment insurance benefits.
Once Constantine falsely applied for the benefits, he would receive a prepaid debit card charged with unemployment insurance benefit funds and use them for his personal benefit.
Constantine submitted 63 false claims that resulted in a loss to the agency of $188,946.
“Unemployment insurance is designed to provide benefits for employees who need money while they are out of work,” Schneider said. “People who abuse the system will pay the consequences.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jihan Williams.