A Brooklyn-based gang, the “Woo gang” got their hands on more than $4 million in COVID-19 relief cash before they were caught and charged. 11 suspects in total were charged Thursday.
The gang members boasted about the scam in a music video, the feds said. The New York Post reports the criminal complaint against them reveals the individuals used personal information, including driver’s license numbers, from 800 people to submit unemployment claims adding up to roughly $20 million.
The gang members were able to receive around $4.3 million in total from the unemployment program between March 2020 and October 2021. In addition to bragging about their successful scamming in a rap music video for the song ‘Trappin’, many of the members also “flashed stacks of the cash on social media.”
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said he will continue to go after gang members attempting to rip off the U.S. government. “These government programs are designed to provide financial assistance to those who are most in need during an unprecedented pandemic” said Peace.
“Unfortunately government aid programs have long been a feeding frenzy for scammers but the scale and the magnitude of the fraud in the unemployment program created by the CARES act has reached staggering levels” said Nino Perrotta, President of Sequoia Securities Group.
“Unfortunately because of the haste in implementing the government programs, they continue to lack the necessary checks and balances required in securing the programs overall integrity” added Perrotta. “With regards to recovery of these stolen assets, unless large sums of the money is in cash at the time they were arrested, or in bank accounts in the names of the alleged defendants, the process for recovery is both time consuming and very technical.”
Feds recovered messages of the suspects, Christopher Jean Pierre, who bought the identifying information of his victims, such as driver’s license numbers, for $150 each. Jean Pierre made the purchases from someone identified as “Skyscraper” on an encrypted messaging app.
Peace said “this Office and its law enforcement partners will vigorously prosecute gang members and anyone else who exploits the pandemic and steals from taxpayer-funded programs.”
You may like
Fauci and wife’s net worth ‘skyrocketed’ to $12.6 million at the end of 2021
No wonder Dr. Anthony Fauci was in no rush for the global COVID-19 pandemic to come to an end; it was making him a very wealthy man. According to a report from the non-profit OpenTheBooks, a government spending watchdog group, Fauci and his wife’s networth grew by $5 million during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The combined wealth of the 81-year-old retiring director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and his bioethicist wife, Christine Grady, soared from $7.5 million in 2019 to $12.6 million at the end of 2021.”
“Despite becoming a figure of controversy, the system has rewarded Dr. Fauci handsomely,” the group’s CEO, Adam Andrzejewski, told Fox News Digital. “While Dr. Fauci has been a government bureaucrat for more than 55 years, his household net worth skyrocketed during the pandemic.”
Specific chunks of money came in part to “major salary increases, cash awards and royalties, according to the report.”
“Fauci’s soaring net worth was based on career-end salary spiking, lucrative cash prizes awarded by non-profit organizations around the world and an ever-larger investment portfolio,” Andrzejewski said.
“He is the top-paid federal employee, his first-year golden parachute retirement pension is the largest in federal history, and he’s accepting $1 million prizes from foreign non-profits,” he added.
The New York Post reports:
Last year, Fauci raked in lucrative awards from nonprofits, including $1 million from the Dan David Foundation for “speaking truth to power” and “defending science” during the Trump Administration.
He kept $910,400 of that award, while roughly 10% went to scholarship winners, according to OpenTheBooks report.
His total compensation was $456,028 last year, up from the $434,312 he earned in 2020.
Overall, the couple’s investments also increased by more than $900,000 in 2021 while their portfolios — which included trust, retirement and college education accounts — jumped $800,000 in 2020, according to the analysis.
At the end of last year, Fauci’s account totaled $10.2 million and Grady’s had reached $2.4 million in investments.
You may like
Nation3 days ago
MD nuclear scientist, wife, face life in prison after pleading guilty in nuclear secrets case
Immigration4 days ago
IG Audit shows nonprofit wasted $17 million taxpayer dollars on hotels to not house illegal foreign nationals
War on Drugs3 days ago
‘Mass poisoning:’ Officials seize 15,000 fentanyl pills disguised as candy
Immigration5 days ago
Texas has raised over $55 million from private donations to secure border, build a wall