Keon Taylor, 30, was arrested on May 25, 2021 in Charlotte, NC. Keon faces federal charges for allegedly using stolen identities to defraud government-funded Coronavirus aid relief programs of more than $200,000.
According to allegations contained in the indictment, from at least March 2020 through February 2021, Keon engaged in a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the North Carolina Division of Employment Security, by filing fraudulent claims for COVID-19 related unemployment insurance benefits using stolen information of identity theft victims.
Keon allegedly filed the unemployment benefit claims in several different states.
The indictment alleges that, as part of the scheme, Keon obtained over the internet and elsewhere multiple victims’ stolen personal identifying information, including victims’ names, social security numbers, dates of birth, and addresses.
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The indictment says Keon used the stolen information of more than 35 victims to apply for and receive over $219,000 in fraudulent unemployment benefits.
The indictment further alleges that Keon also used false information to fraudulently apply for three Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) under the expanded CARES Act.
The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, and it is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of American citizens suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CARES Act established several new temporary programs and provided for the expansion of others, including the EIDL program, which is an SBA program that provides low-interest financing to small businesses, renters, and homeowners in regions affected by declared disasters.
Keon is charged with eight counts of wire fraud, two counts of making a false statement to the U.S. Small Business Administration, three counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count related to possessing equipment that can be used to make fake identity documents.