Worker bilked metropolis’s COVID-19 lodge program for $400K: feds


A metropolis name middle employee allegedly turned the COVID-19 emergency lodge room program right into a profitable payday by illegally reserving luxurious rooms on-line for cut-rate costs to the tune of a $400,000 revenue.

Chanette Lewis, 30, was charged with fraud, conspiracy, and identification theft in reference to the alleged rip-off of the town’s COVID-19 Hotel Room Isolation Program — which was created to quarantine medical staff uncovered to the virus.

Under the racket, the Office of Emergency Management employee used well being care staff’ information to e book rooms on the federal government’s dime, and marketed the vacancies on Facebook, officials said in a statement Tuesday.

“I’m Doing Hotels 60 Percent 5 star hotels I do not know exactly what hotel u would be place but I know it would be 5 star hotel … be cash app ready !!” Lewis marketed, in keeping with prosectutors.

“Book Today, $300 For the whole monthhhhhhhhhhhhhh !! !! !! !!” one other put up allegedly learn.

Lewis — together with accomplices Tatiana Benjamin, Tatiana Daniel, and Haven West — booked greater than 2,700 unlawful stays at Manhattan and Bronx inns, together with 28 for her personal enjoyment, the feds mentioned.

Some of the girl’s purchasers “threw large parties, and sometimes even engaged in violence,” US Attorney Special Agent Jared Eannucci alleged.

Lewis allegedly took doctors' credentials from her job at the call center.
Lewis allegedly took docs’ credentials from her job on the name middle.

Lewis even bragged about her misdeeds on Facebook, in keeping with the grievance.

“I stole some doctor numbers and emails … I was writing down they employed [sic] ID number lmao,” she wrote. “I made 16K in 5 days I’m proud of myselfffff,” a non-public message allegedly learn.

The suspect additionally allegedly left a digital path whereas recruiting her co-conspirators.

“I wanna teach u the ropes of it,” Lewis wrote Benjamin, 26, final June, in keeping with prosecutors.

“I work for 311 oem that how I got doctors licenses and stuff . . . I work in the part that I collect they information and I do and approval the booking . . . I take doctors and stuff certificate numbers and stuff,” Lewis mentioned on Facebook.

“Let’s get this bread while this s–t active,” the Queens girl allegedly replied.

When the town wised as much as the scheme the subsequent month, Benjamin allegedly foreshadowed her destiny in a message to Lewis.

“We goin to jail lmao,” it learn, in keeping with officers.

“During the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, while this City grappled with soaring transmission and death rates, these defendants exploited the very City-run program meant to provide respite and isolation to healthcare workers and City residents desperately trying to find space to quarantine and stem the spread of the virus,” DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett mentioned.

Lewis can be accused of illegally gathering $45,000 in COVID-19 unemployment advantages whereas she was gathering a metropolis paycheck and cooking up the brazen scheme.

Benjamin, Daniel, 27, and West, 21, every face 40 years behind bars. Lewis is 72 years in far much less fascinating authorities lodgings.