LOS ANGELES, Calif. — A Jackson State University football player was arrested on Monday after he allegedly organized a scheme to receive money in COVID-19 unemployment benefits, the Central District of California U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
According to the press release, Abdul-Malik McClain, 22, turned himself in on Monday before being indicted in United States District Court on charges that reportedly happened last year.
McClain, who was living in California at the time, and his co-schemers allegedly filed applications claiming to be self-employed workers, athletic trainers, and tutors who lost work as a result of the pandemic. The press release also reported that McClain helped other football players in filing unemployment claims and receiving debit cards with money relating to unemployment benefits.
McClain and his associates would then reportedly use the cards to make ATM cash withdrawals. He allegedly helped file at least 36 fraudulent applications.
According to the press release, each mail fraud count carries a sentence of 20 years. The identity theft charges carry a two year sentence.
McClain is facing 10 counts of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a $20,000 bond. His trial is set for February 15.