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
Former troops who lost livelihood over Biden’s vaccine mandate sue for billions in lost wages
Three separate lawsuits with plans to be turned into a class action lawsuit is in the works on behalf of all service members who suffered due to Biden’s military vaccine mandate. Former troops involved in the lawsuit were either kicked out or illegally ordered to stop drilling, resulting in loss of pay or benefits, reports Breitbart.
Attorney Dale Saran, a retired Marine, and fellow attorneys Andy Meyer and Brandon Johnson are representing the former troops in the lawsuit, stating, “It’s worth billions. That’s just flat-out. That’s what it is in backpay. It’s billions of dollars,” said Saran.
The lawsuits were filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which Saran said is a specialized court where illegal discharges are heard. Saran estimates there are 80,000 to 100,000 service members — both active-duty and reservists — who were impacted by the mandate. While more than 8,000 active-duty troops were kicked out, tens of thousands of reservists were told not to drill anymore or were moved to inactive status, he said.
“They were basically [without] the benefit of any due process. No boards were held. They didn’t hold any administrative separation boards; they didn’t hold any hearings. They didn’t do any federal recognition boards; none of the administrative or judicial procedures were used. They just flat-out did it. And then…they got the Coast Guard to follow along, and they got a bunch of Coasties too,” Saran said.
Saran said the monetary damages were not only from lost backpay but also from repayment of enlistment bonuses. He explained, “Say you enlisted for five years, you got a bonus and $50,000…And then, now, they’re like, ‘Hey, we’re gonna inject you with this.’ You’re like, ‘Yo, that’s experimental. Like, that’s not actually licensed. And the defense secretary’s order was we’d only have to take licensed vaccines — that says experimental.’”
You may like
education6 days ago
Department of Education Office of Civil Rights opens investigation into Harvard University
Featured5 days ago
Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
Nation7 days ago
Washington D.C. Spends Hundreds of Thousands on “Black Lives Matter” Street Art Amidst Soaring Crime Rates
Nation6 days ago
GOP Weighs Formalizing Impeachment Inquiry into President Joe Biden