BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Office of U.S. Attorney Trini Ross says that after stealing more than $43,000 in unemployment benefits, a former Buffalo resident could spend up to 10 years in prison.
On Wednesday morning, Mohammed Fares, who now lives in Florida, admitted to theft of government property — a plea that could also lead to a $250,000 fine.
The 28-year-old co-owned a trucking company in Buffalo, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says, in which he managed drivers and coordinated shipments. Prosecutors say that for roughly a year, starting in mid-2020, Fares received payments after fraudulently applying for unemployment benefits and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.
They say he told the New York State Department of Labor that his last day working was in March 2020 and that his workplace closed due to the pandemic, but in reality, Fares continued managing the trucking company.
In all, prosecutors say he received approximately $43,320 in unemployment benefits and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation — the latter funds of which were provided through the CARES Act.
Fares is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7.