PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced on Tuesday theft and fraud charges for eight civilian employees with the Philadelphia Police Department.
According to officials, the seven police dispatchers and one clerk fraudulently obtained emergency unemployment benefits related to COVID-19.
"Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds are intended to help Americans who are not working or who have experienced dramatically reduced working hours due to the pandemic, not people who are already gainfully employed," Williams said in a statement.
"Thieves who attempt to take these funds are taking advantage of others' misfortune - ripping them off while also ripping off all taxpayers who fund the program. As alleged, these eight defendants fraudulently obtained funds that could have helped struggling individuals."
The eight employees were charged with one count of mail or wire fraud and one count of theft of government funds for obtaining Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) funds while working for the Philadelphia Police Department and also collecting a city paycheck.
The seven dispatchers are:
- Shannon Reynolds, 25, of Philadelphia.
- Najah Harrell, 32, of Philadelphia.
- Korey Kinard, 29, of Philadelphia.
- Keely Maude, 23, of Philadelphia.
- Tashika White, age 50, of Cheltenham, Pa.
- Monica Pelzer, 45, of Philadelphia.
- Yarelis Feliciano, 28, of Philadelphia.
Johnson is employed as a clerk for the police department.
Officials say each employee is also charged in a separate indictment with the two counts noted.