Long Island woman sentenced to prison for unemployment insurance fraud

Albany, NY – Rhasha Wright, 30, of Roosevelt, NY, was sentenced today to 24 months and 1 day in prison for conspiring with New York State inmates to defraud pandemic-related unemployment insurance programs. was sentenced to

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman. Jonathan Melone, Special Agent for the New York Area, US Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General (USDOL-OIG); Matthew Scarpino, Deputy Special Agent for the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector for the Boston Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). Anthony J. Annucci, Deputy Commissioner, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (NYSDOCCS). Roberta Reardon, New York State Department of Labor Secretary (NYSDOL).

Wright had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. Inmates) filed false unemployment insurance claims with the NYSDOL in Pauline’s name and another Bear’s name, admitting to defrauding the NYSDOL. Inmates were not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Sudderby also ordered Wright to be supervised for a year after his release and ordered the state of New York to pay $11,696 in damages.

Thornton previously pleaded guilty to participating in two prison-based unemployment insurance fraud conspiracies and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison, where he was due to serve after completing his state sentence. Pauline was sentenced to 19 months in federal prison and was due to serve after completing her state sentence. A fourth defendant, Briana Garland, previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with Thornton to file fraudulent claims in Thornton’s name and is awaiting her sentencing.

The case was investigated by USDOL-OIG, HSI, USPIS, and the NYSDOCCS and NYSDOL Offices of Special Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua R. Rosenthal.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to work with agencies across the government to coordinate Department of Justice resources and work to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. strengthened. The Task Force will step up efforts to investigate and prosecute the most guilty domestic and international offenders and, among other methods, remedial programs to prevent fraud by strengthening and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms. Assisting agencies tasked with the management of, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudsters, their schemes, and sharing and leveraging information and insights gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the agency’s response to the pandemic, visit his website at:

If you have information about an attempted fraud claim related to COVID-19, please call the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or complete the NCDF web complaint form at: can be reported using

Leave a Comment