A Sioux City woman who stole government funds using a COVID-19 unemployment scheme was sentenced September 16, 2021, to 6 months in federal prison.
Linda Bosquez, age 59, from Sioux City, Iowa, received the prison term after a guilty plea to theft of government funds. In a plea agreement, Bosquez admitted that from April 30, 2020 through July 22, 2020, she stole at least $24,235 from the United States Department of the Treasury and the states of Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio.
Bosquez falsely filed claims, in her name and those of others, for unemployment benefits, through the States of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado, and Ohio, including benefits related to COVID-19 relief funds to which she was not entitled. Bosquez made cash withdrawals following the deposits of Unemployment Insurance credits into her account, totaling approximately $27,299.30. Bosquez was receiving benefits from other states via ACH and prepaid cards in the names of other individuals, while she was also receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Bosquez has three prior theft convictions and two prior convictions for fraudulent practice.
The case was prosecuted by United States Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the United States Department of Labor and the Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Rooting out COVID-19 fraud is a priority of the Department of Justice. On March 27, 2020, the President signed the CARES Act, which provides emergency assistance to individuals, families, and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased unemployment benefits.
These prosecutions are an example of the Department of Justice’s strong commitment to combating fraud and criminal activity related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Bosquez was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Bosquez was sentenced to 6 months’ imprisonment. She was ordered to make $24,235 in restitution in various amounts to the Georgia Department of Labor, the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, and the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. She must also serve a 2-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Bosquez is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.