Former SUNY student pleads guilty to unemployment insurance fraud | USAO-NDNY


BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK – Makahi Daevon Bryant, 20, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty today to fraudulently obtaining more than $ 13,000 in unemployment insurance benefits from the state of California.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; Matthew Scarpino, Acting Special Agent in charge of the Buffalo Field of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office; and Jonathan Mellone, Special Agent in Charge, New York Region, US Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General (USDOL-OIG).

As part of his guilty plea to one count of access device fraud, Bryant admitted that he obtained debit cards containing California UI benefits on behalf of others. . In September and October 2020, while a student at the State University of New York at Delhi (SUNY Delhi), Bryant made unauthorized transactions using debit cards to obtain cash, goods and services.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 26, 2022 in Binghamton, before US Senior District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy. Bryant faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $ 250,000 and a supervised release sentence of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular law the defendant is accused of violating, US sentencing guidelines, and other factors.

This case has been investigated by HSI and USDOL-OIG, with assistance from the University Police Department of SUNY Delhi, and is being pursued by Deputy US Prosecutor John T. Chisholm.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Working Group to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with government agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent the pandemic fraud. The Working Group strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable national and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by scaling up and integrating mechanisms coordination, identifying resources and techniques for uncovering fraudulent actors and their programs, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Enforcement (NCDF) hotline at 866-720 -5721 or via the NCDF web complaint form at: https: // www. / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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