Albany Man Pleads Guilty to Unemployment Insurance Fraud

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Kahleke Taylor, 21, of Albany, pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, wire fraud and felony counts of identity theft in connection with a scheme to obtain insurance related to the COVID-19 pandemic through the use of personal information. . Taylor admitted that his fraudulent scheme resulted in $207,004 in losses to the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Matthew Scarpino, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang; Jonathan Mellone, Special Assistant to the Administrator, New York Region, United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General (USDOL-OIG); and Ketty Larco-Ward, Managing Director of the Boston Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

In his plea, Taylor admitted that he solicited personal information from other people on social media. He used the information to create fake unemployment insurance claims on the NYSDOL website. For example, in one petition filed in August 2020, Taylor confirmed that a person had been laid off at a hotel in Latham, New York in March 2020 due to “Unemployment – COVID,” all of which were false. From September 2020 to June 2021, the claims Taylor admitted to filing as part of the scheme resulted in $207,004 in benefits. Taylor has agreed to make full restitution to the NYSDOL.

Taylor’s mail fraud and wire theft convictions carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release. The enhanced identity theft conviction carries a mandatory term of 2 years in prison, to be served consecutively. any other prison. Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8, 2022, by United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino. A defendant’s sentence is determined by the judge based on the laws the defendant is accused of violating, the US Sentencing Guidelines, etc.

This case is being investigated by HSI, the Office of the New York State Inspector General, USDOL-OIG, and USPIS, with assistance from the NYSDOL Office of Special Investigations and the Schenectady County Department of Social Services, and is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney John. T. Chisholm.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Task Force to use the funds of the Ministry of Justice in cooperation with federal agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent fraud related to the pandemic. The Task Force promotes efforts to investigate and prosecute domestic and international criminals and supports organizations with a mandate to prevent fraud by, among other things, adding to and integrating existing communications, identification tools and methods. exposing fraudsters and their schemes, and sharing and using the information and insights gained from the initial testing. To learn more about the department’s response to the outbreak, please visit

Anyone with information about fraud related to COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: