Southfield man sent to federal prison for stealing identities to claim unemployment

Man accused of obtaining thousands via fraudulent unemployment applications, loans

Money. (Pexels)

A Southfield man has been sentenced for using identity theft to obtain more than $400,000 in unemployment insurance benefits.

Samuel Baker, 39, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison. Authorities say Baker was able to obtain insurance benefits from Michigan and Pennsylvania.

According to court documents, the Southfield man submitted fraudulent unemployment applications for $370,000 in both states. Baker also successfully obtained a fraudulent $47,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Officials say Baker was able to claim the money by stealing several individuals’ identities using their social security numbers.

“Samuel Baker defrauded multiple state workforce agencies by filing for unemployment insurance benefits in the names of identity theft victims, which resulted in a loss of more than $365,000. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and state workforce agencies to protect the integrity of unemployment insurance benefit programs,” said Irene Lindow of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

A news release states that Baker is ordered to pay restitution to the victim states and the state business administration. Baker also forfeited the gold coins and Rolexes that he purchased, as well as $187,000 in cash.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.