WOOD COUNTY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Daniel Satow, 33, of Davisville, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud. Satow admitted he unlawfully obtained unemployment benefits, including supplementary funds provided by the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on December 20, 2020, Satow logged on to the WorkForce West Virginia website and applied for unemployment compensation. Satow admitted he was employed at the time and that he falsely claimed when he applied that he had not been gainfully employed since September 9, 2020, and that the coronavirus pandemic prevented him from working.
Satow’s fraudulent application was approved and he received a debit card loaded with unemployment compensation benefits through the mail at his Davisville residence on January 5, 2021. Satow admitted that he used the debit card to make purchases for himself while knowing he had obtained the benefits fraudulently.
Satow further admitted that he continued to access the WorkForce West Virginia website for 26 consecutive weeks and each time falsely certified that he remained entitled to unemployment compensation benefits. WorkForce West Virginia relied on Satow’s false answers and loaded additional benefits onto the debit card weekly. These benefits included supplementary funds provided by the FPUC program. Satow admitted that he continued to use the debit card to make personal purchases.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided for a temporary emergency increase in unemployment compensation benefits, referred to as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC). Although these benefits are administered by the states, they are funded in part by the federal government.
Satow is scheduled to be sentenced on August 10, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Satow also owes $21,238 in restitution.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the WorkForce West Virginia Integrity Section and the Litigation Financial Analyst with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Blackwell is prosecuting the case.