New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro, along with the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York State Department of Labor, announced the sentencing of a man who, for years, assumed the identity of another man in order to illegally obtain more than $21,000 in New York State Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Safety Net Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
The individual whose identity was stolen has been living in ill health in California, from where his wife detailed the suffering he endured due to the fraud – including unwarranted collections calls and potentially jeopardized health care.
A man formerly/last known as “Glen Cooper,” a/k/a “Glendon Cooper,” of Brooklyn, was sentenced to time-served, 3-years’ supervised release with continuous GPS monitoring and 100 hours of community service before the Hon. George B. Daniels, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York. He pled guilty in November 2019 to Access Device Fraud and Theft of Government Services. He also signed an order to pay full restitution of $21,521.
The real Glen Edward Cooper was born in and has resided in California his entire life. His birthdate and social security number matched those the defendant used when applying for unemployment and Medicaid benefits in April and July 2017, respectively.
“For years, this individual engaged in fraud and deceit against the welfare system while an innocent and unsuspecting couple across the country suffered the consequences,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “We have no tolerance for fraud in New York and I applaud our partners for working together to bring closure for the real Coopers.”
“When someone tries to defraud the system in this way, it has a damaging impact on all New Yorkers, especially those who are following the letter of the law and doing everything right,” said New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “I commend our partners at the New York Inspector General’s Office, as well as the US DOL, for working with us to uncover this fraud. I am proud of the dedicated work our investigators do. It sends a strong message that this type of theft and deception will not be tolerated.”
“’Cooper’ thought he could steal another person’s identity with impunity to obtain unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled. The victim was also left with bills and roadblocks in receiving treatment for medical conditions. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the integrity of the unemployment insurance program,” said Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent in Charge, New York Region, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.
“Cooper” used the name, date of birth and social security number of another person to obtain more than $21,000 in benefits from the public assistance programs to which he was not entitled. Specifically, from April 2017 to April 2019, “Cooper” submitted applications for unemployment insurance benefits on five separate occasions, varying the information slightly each time to avoid detection. Based on the false information submitted, “Cooper’s” applications for unemployment insurance benefits were approved and he received three pre-loaded debit cards with various amounts (April 2017: $11,190; May 2018: $4,495; and April 2019: $1,350).
In addition to unemployment benefits, “Cooper” also applied for public assistance benefits using similarly fraudulent information. In July 2017, he received $2,196 in Medicaid benefits. In April 2018, he received $883 in Medicaid benefits, $960 in SNAP benefits and $448 in SNAP benefits.
Inspector General Tagliafierro thanked the New York State Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General for their assistance in the investigation. She also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for prosecuting the case.