LAS VEGAS (KLAS)– A Las Vegas man was sentenced on Tuesday to three years and five months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with illegal possession of unemployment benefit cards.
Vincent Okoye, 40, pleaded guilty in June 2022 to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
According to court documents, Okoye told a judge that he conspired with others including co-defendant Jasmine-Royshel Kanisha Black to get DETR and DES debit cards by submitting fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. Okoye would use personal information such as names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of people with them knowing or their consent.
Court documents revealed that Black was employed by the U.S Postal Service as a mail carrier. Black then used her position to help Okoye find vacant residences or rarely-checked mailboxes, where they would send the fraudulent debit cards.
Black would then intercept and deliver the debit card to Okoye in person, court documents said.
In total, DETR and DES approved more than $550,000 in benefits for the fraudulent claims.
On July 15, 2020, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Okoye’s residence and found the following,
• Over $100,000 in U.S. Currency and U.S. Money Orders
• A forged Canadian passport
• A postal mailbox master key
• Over 100 pieces of mail, bearing names and addresses not belonging to Okoye
• At least 24 pieces of mail from DETR, bearing various names and addresses
• At least 100 credit and debit cards not issued in Okoye’s name, including at least 11 debit cards issued by DETR and at least 12 debit cards issued by DES.
Okoye was sentenced by U.S District Judge Gloria M. Navarro to three years and five months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.