Philadelphia police department employees accused of pandemic fraud

PHILADELPHIA — Eight civilian employees with the Philadelphia Police Department are facing charges after federal investigators said they illegally collected Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Seven people charged are dispatchers while one is a clerk, the Associated Press reported.

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The suspects are accused of taking advantage of a program designed to help people who were out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are accused of submitting weekly statements saying they were unemployed but ready, willing, and able to work. However, they were ineligible for unemployment because federal investigators said they were receiving a salary from the city. As a result, investigators say each suspect received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds for multiple weeks while they also received a salary from the Philadelphia Police Department.

The Philadelphia Police Commissioner said each suspect would be suspended for 30 days with the intent to fire them after the 30 days after they were fully arrested and charged, the Associated Press reported.