ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, three Capital Region men have been accused of committing unemployment insurance fraud. The three men allegedly pulled off a scheme that allowed them to be paid more than $100,000 in benefits.

Earlier in February, the US Attorney’s Office indicted Kahleke Taylor, 21, of Albany; Taquan Parker, 25, of Snellville, Georgia, and formerly of Albany; and Olajuwon Sutherland, 26, of Troy. They were indicted for engaging in a fraudulent scheme to obtain more than $100,000 in unemployment insurance benefits. The alleged false claims exploited federal programs intended to aid out-of-work New Yorkers during the COVID pandemic.

Allegedly, Parker and Sutherland provided Taylor with the personal identifying information of other people. Taylor then used those people’s identities to file false claims via the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) website. NYSDOL ultimately paid more than $100,000 in benefits to the accusers.

Taylor appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart and was ordered detained after he waived a detention hearing. Parker appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, was released with conditions, and is scheduled to first appear before Judge Stewart on March 10. Sutherland appeared before Judge Stewart, who ordered Sutherland detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, February 24.

The defendants are charged with mail and wire fraud, as well as aggravated identity theft. The mail and wire fraud charges carry a maximum term of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years. The charges for aggravated identity theft carry a mandatory term of 2 years in prison.