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Benton Harbor woman gets 10 years in prison for stealing COVID relief

Federal courthouse in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Federal courthouse in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

A Benton Harbor woman was sentenced Tuesday for organizing alarge-scale fraud scheme to steal over $1 million in COVID relief funds.

Federal prosecutors in Michigan say Roshell Beaty orchestrated the theft of more than $1 million COVID relief money with the help of her children and others over the past few years.

On Tuesday, the 46-year-old Beaty was sentenced to just over 10 years in prison for her role in the scheme and was ordered to pay back the money as restitution.

Court documents detail how Beaty, three of her adult children and two others applied for unemployment insurance in a number of different states using multiple different stolen identities.

The scheme targeted the expanded unemployment insurance available during the COVID-19 pandemic and took more than $335,000 from Michigan and over $115,000 from Indiana.

Beaty and the others also defraud the federal Paycheck Protection Program out of more than $250,000 in funds meant for small businesses.

Beaty pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of identity theft earlier this year. As a condition of her sentence, Beaty is also not allowed to hold any job involving financial responsibilities.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.