SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield woman was sentenced for her involvement in a scheme that fraudulently received Massachusetts COVID-19 unemployment assistance.

According to the US Attorney’s office, 61-year-old Audri Ford-Victory of Springfield and a co-conspirator submitted more than 100 fraudulent Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims, totaling more than $1.2 million in payments. About half the claims were made from people residing outside of Massachusetts and in some instances, Ford-Victory received kickback payments.

Ford-Victory pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and was sentenced to three years of probation, with six months to be served in home confinement.

In March 2020 Congress passed the CARES Act, which created the PUA program to help Americans receive unemployment when businesses were closed down due to the pandemic.

If you have information of someone that attempted fraud involving COVID-19, you can report it to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721.