Graterford Case Example of IRS Investigative Resolve

GRATERFORD PA – Criminal charges filed in October 2020, alleging that six inmates serving time at SCI Phoenix in Graterford fraudulently obtained coronavirus-related unemployment assistance funding, were among cases actively pursued during the Year of the Pandemic by the Internal Revenue Service’s Philadelphia criminal investigation field office, it said Tuesday (March 23, 2021).

Field office personnel pledged their “continued commitment to investigating COVID-19 fraud,” as March marked the one-year anniversary of the widespread virus infection.

The agency to date “has investigated more than 350 tax and money laundering cases nationwide,” amounting to a total value of $440 million. Investigations covered “a broad range of criminal activity, including fraudulently obtained loans, credits and payments,” the IRS noted. “Several individuals have been investigated and charged, but we are not done yet,” field office Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso said.

The SCI Phoenix case involved charges brought by the state Attorney General, resulting in part from what the field office said were investigations into a parallel federal case in Chester County. Charged were inmates:

Jermaine Plumer, who allegedly received $18,264 in unemployment assistance after he provided personal identifying information to non-incarcerated individuals; as well as Rafael Rodriguez, $22,109; Dwayne Washington, $3,510; and Dexter Pitts, also known as Kevin Perry, $3,150. Inmates Leroy Barnes and Andrew Simms never received money but provided personal identifying information to non-incarcerated individuals to have them complete unemployment applications on their behalf, the state also alleged.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law March 27, 2020, to supply emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from economic effects of the pandemic.

Photos from the IRS Criminal Investigation Twitter feed