ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The United States Attorney’s Office report Taliek Lanier, 23 of Albany pleaded guilty on March 29 in connection to a conspiracy to defraud the NYS department of labor (NYSDOL). Lanier obtained unemployment insurance benefits under the names of other people, including benefits funded by the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US attorney’s office explains Lanier admitted that he provided Jamie Johnson with the personal identifying information of three other people, which Johnson used to file false claims via the NYSDOL website. Lanier also admitted that as a result of the fraudulent applications, the NYSDOL paid $113,936 in unemployment insurance benefits. As part of his plea agreement, Lanier agreed to pay $113,936 in restitution to the State of New York.

Johnson previously pleaded guilty to fraudulently getting $701,441 in unemployment insurance benefits as part of the scheme. Lanier faces 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 when he is sentenced on August 2.