San Antonio woman pleads guilty to COVID-19 unemployment fraud

Affidavit: Donna Wasson, 37, falsely claimed she worked in Massachusetts to seek Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

$100 bill (Pixlr)

A local woman who applied for COVID-19-related unemployment benefits in Massachusetts to which she was not entitled has pleaded guilty, federal prosecutors said.

Donna Wasson, 37, of San Antonio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston on Monday to three counts of wire fraud, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

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Wasson lied about her address, lied about the number of dependants she had, and falsely claimed she worked in Massachusetts when the pandemic hit to seek Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, according to an affidavit from a federal investigator.

PUA payments were intended for people not eligible for other types of unemployment benefits, including the self-employed, independent contractors, or gig economy workers.

Wasson also aided a former employee at the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance in filing several fraudulent unemployment claims using stolen identities, prosecutors said.

Wasson was detained pending sentencing scheduled for March 8.

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