Albany, New York — Kahlke Taylor, 21, of Albany, today pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and identity theft related to a program to receive unemployment benefits related to the COVID-19 pandemic using the personal information of others . convicted of , Taylor admitted his fraud scheme resulted in a $207,004 loss for the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL).
The announcement was made by US Attorney Carla B. Friedman; Matthew Scarpino, Special Agent for the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang; Jonathan Malone, Special Agent in Charge, New York Area, United States Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General (USDOL-OIG); and Katie Larco-Ward, Senior Inspector at the Boston Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
In his petition, Taylor admitted to soliciting personal information from others on social media. He used the information on the NYSDOL website to file a false unemployment insurance claim. For example, on an application filed in August 2020, Taylor confirmed that an individual lost a job at a hotel in Latham, New York, in March 2020 due to “lack of work – COVID,” which was all false. From September 2020 to June 2021, Teller made a $207,004 benefit payment as a result of claims being accepted for filing under the fraud program. Taylor has agreed to pay NYSDOL full damages.
Taylor’s mail fraud and wire fraud convictions are each subject to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 3 years of supervised release. The penalty for aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory 2-year prison sentence, which is progressive for any other prison sentence. Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced by US District Judge Mai A D’Agostino on December 8, 2022. A defendant’s sentence is determined by a judge based on certain laws that the defendant is said to have violated, US sentencing guidelines, and other factors.
The case is being investigated by HSI, the New York State Inspectorate General’s Office, USDOL-OIG and USPIS with support from the NYSDOL Office of Special Investigations and the Schenectady County Department of Social Services, and is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney John. T Chisholm.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to bring together the Department of Justice’s resources in partnership with agencies across government to increase efforts to combat and prevent fraud related to the pandemic. The Task Force promotes efforts to identify and prosecute the most frequently convicted national and international criminal actors and to improve and incorporate existing coordination mechanisms, identify resources and techniques for detecting fraudulent actors, among other methods. Supports agencies that manage utility programs to prevent fraud and other means. Sharing and using information and learnings from their plans and previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, see
Anyone with information about suspected fraud related to COVID-19 may report it to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF web complaint form: