Jackson State LB Abdul-Malik McClain Arrested For Masterminding COVID-19 Unemployment Scam – BlackSportsOnline
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Jackson State LB Abdul-Malik McClain Arrested For Masterminding COVID-19 Unemployment Scam

This went down while Abdul-Malik McClain was at USC, but now he is at Jackson State.

According to the Feds, he was the mastermind behind a COVID-19 unemployment scam. This isn’t quite as bad as the people who took millions in PPP loans, but the Feds are looking at putting McClain behind bars for a very long period of time.

Here is what they said in the indictment.

 A college football player was taken into custody this morning on federal charges alleging he orchestrated a scheme that fraudulently sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID-related unemployment benefits.

Abdul-Malik McClain, 22, who currently attends school in Jackson, Mississippi, surrendered to federal law enforcement this morning in Los Angeles before being arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court.

A federal grand jury indictment returned on December 16 and unsealed this afternoon charges McClain with 10 counts of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. McClain, who was residing in Los Angeles in 2020 during the alleged scheme, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and was ordered released on a $20,000 bond.

According to the indictment, while a member of his university’s football team, McClain organized and assisted a group of other football players in filing fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits, including under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program established by Congress in response to the pandemic’s economic fallout. The indictment alleges that the claims – which were filed with the California Employment Development Department (EDD), the administrator of the state’s unemployment insurance (UI) benefit program – contained false information about the football players’ supposed prior employment, pandemic-related job loss, and job-seeking efforts in California.

The indictment alleges that the false statements in the UI applications led EDD to authorize Bank of America to mail debit cards to the football players. Those debit cards were loaded with at least hundreds of dollars, and sometimes thousands of dollars, in unemployment benefits, which the recipients used to make cash withdrawals at ATMs and to fund personal expenses. In some cases, McClain sought and obtained a cut for helping others file fraudulent UI applications.

McClain and his co-schemers also allegedly filed applications in their own names, in the names of other friends and associates, and in the names of identity theft victims. According to the indictment, these claims also falsely stated that the claimants were self-employed workers, including athletic trainers and tutors, who had lost work in California as a result of the pandemic. These allegedly false claims also induced EDD to authorize Bank of America to issue debit cards in the names of the claimants. The indictment alleges that McClain and his co-schemers caused those cards to be mailed to addresses where they could collect the mail.

McClain allegedly caused at least three dozen fraudulent applications to be filed with EDD during the summer of 2020. According to the indictment, those fraudulent applications sought at least $903,688 in PUA benefits and led the EDD to pay out at least $227,736.

McClain is looking at 20 years in jail, but he has pleaded not guilty.

It appears McClain’s profile page at Jackson State has been deleted. Deion Sanders and the school haven’t commented.

Flip the page for even more of this crazy scam.

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