Minnesota Man Sentenced to Prison for COVID Relief Fraud
Minneapolis (KROC-AM News) - A Minnesota man has been sentenced to over eight years in federal prison and will pay over $284,000 in restitution for wire fraud and identity theft related to a COVID-19 relief fraud scheme.
Prosecutors said 35-year-old Jared Fiege of Duluth stole the identities of at least 25 individuals from April 2020 to August 2020 and used the identities to apply for COVID-19 relief through Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program.
Court documents said Fiege also invented fictional business entities, which he linked to the identities of real people without their knowledge. The Duluth man possessed multiple burner cell phones and registered numerous email addresses which he used to impersonate others. Fiege was also found in possession of photoshopped passports, utility bills, and other documents he used for identity verification for the programs he targeted.
In order to withdraw the significant amounts of cash that were disbursed through the programs he targeted, Fiege established bank accounts in other peoples’ names and requested bank cards to be issued by mail. He had the bank cards sent to real addresses where he would then intercept the mail before the actual residents had a chance to.
Fiege pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in July 2021. He was sentenced to 102 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He will also pay $284,355.54 in restitution.
Fiege also pled guilty in two separate stalking cases involving different women in Washington County and St. Louis County.