ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona man among 3 sentenced in COVID fraud scheme

Sep 7, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:22 pm

(AP Photo, File)...

(AP Photo, File)

(AP Photo, File)

PHOENIX — An Arizona man was one of three defendants sentenced in a COVID fraud scheme over unemployment assistance, authorities said Thursday.

Jonathan Blake, 30, of Tucson, was sentenced to six months in prison in early August after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Blake, along with a married Texas couple, defrauded the Arizona Department of Economic Security of about $225,000 in May 2020 through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

Bethany Helene Green, 46, devised the scheme to get inmates at Pinal County Jail, including Blake and her husband 48-year-old Patrick Green, unemployment benefits they were not eligible for.

A total of 16 inmates provided their personal information for the $600 weekly benefit, according to the release.

Bethany Green charged inmates $1,000 to complete the online forms and an additional $100 weekly to complete the online forms.

The defendants, including Blake, will have to pay $225,000 in restitution.

The United States Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General and Arizona Department of Economic Security-Office of Inspector General investigated the case.

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Arizona man among 3 sentenced in COVID fraud scheme