SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – A Southfield man is charged in a criminal complaint for his role in a multi-state unemployment insurance fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney Office Eastern District of Michigan.
Thirty-seven-year-old Samuel George Baker is charged with scheming more than $100,000 total from Michigan and Pennsylvania. The funds were allocated for unemployment assistance during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A press release stated that Baker filed several fraudulent applications for unemployment insurance benefits in Pennsylvania using different names, resulting in $150,000 in fraudulent benefits. The criminal complaint stated Baker allegedly requested to have money to be deposited on debit cards and mail them to various addresses in Michigan.
The complaint alleged Baker made daily withdrawals in July and at one point, purchased a rare, $45,000 Rolex watch.
In addition, Baker allegedly filed multiple fraudulent unemployment claims in Michigan in May, using fake social security numbers and driver’s licenses. Bake allegedly received more than $37,000 in benefits from Michigan.
“At a time when thousands of people are out of work because of the pandemic, Samuel Baker is charged with stealing unemployment benefits that should have gone to Michiganders trying to feed their families. Anyone who steals unemployment funds steals from the people of Michigan,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider.
An investigation is still ongoing and a felony indictment will be determined after the completion of the investigation.