New Bedford couple indicted for pandemic unemployment benefits fraud

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FILE – In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, the Department of Justice seal is seen in Washington, D.C. An internet firm is ending the automated registration of website names that include words or phrases related to the COVID-19 pandemic, in an attempt to combat coronavirus-related fraud. Los Angeles-based Namecheap Inc. made the pledge after a federal judge in Texas on Sunday, March 22, 2020, ordered the takedown of a website the U.S. Department of Justice accused of stealing credit card information while offering fake coronavirus vaccine kits. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

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BOSTON (AP) — A woman who worked for the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance and her husband are facing charges they sought to illegally collect unemployment benefits.

Tiffany Pacheco, 35, and Arthur Pacheco, 47, were indicted Thursday in Boston federal court on wire fraud charges, according to U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling’s office.

The New Bedford couple was arrested in San Antonio, Texas in December. Prosecutors say Tiffany Pacheco was hired by the unemployment office last April after being released from federal prison.

Prosecutors say she then submitted fraudulent pandemic unemployment assistance claim information for herself and her husband, who was incarcerated in Texas until last September.

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