A man who stole the identities of Maine residents to fraudulently collect unemployment benefits received his sentence this week.

Who Was Sentenced?

James McAuliffe, 55, formerly of Arizona, is sentenced to 60 months in prison after pleading guilty in a Bangor courtroom to six counts of wire fraud and six counts of aggravated identity theft. In addition to the prison sentence, McAuliffe is ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $203,616 in restitution.

What Are the Details of His Fraud?

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine, the charges stem from McAuliffe's activities between January and November 2020, when he filed false claims for unemployment insurance benefits. The applications that were filed with the Maine Department of Labor Bureau of Unemployment Compensation used other people's identifying information without their knowledge or consent. In other words, he stole people's identities and then used them to apply for replacement driver's licenses in their names. The reason he gave for the replacement licenses was that the addresses needed to be changed. Once he got the falsified license, he would use it as proof of identification in support of his fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.

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How Did Wire Fraud Come Into This Case?

McAuliffe had the UI benefits loaded onto debit cards and wired into a bank account he opened in another person's name. He would then withdraw the funds at ATMs in Arizona. At the time of his arrest, McAuliffe was living in Kansas.

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