Haverhill Man, 41, Faces Charges Related to Pandemic Unemployment Claim for Non-Resident

John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse. (Beyond My Ken, Creative Commons.))

A 41-year-old Haverhill man was arrested and charged Thursday in connection with a Massachusetts Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claim he filed in 2020 for a man who was living in Brazil and who has since been charged with migrant smuggling, among other offenses.

Julio Roncaly Morais was charged by complaint with mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He was arrested Thursday morning and was scheduled to appear in U.S, District Court in the afternoon.

According to court documents, Morais filed a Massachusetts pandemic unemployment claim on June 3, 2020, on behalf of Chelbe Willams Moraes, who was living in Brazil when the claim was filed. In the application, Julio Morais allegedly certified under penalty of perjury that Chelbe Moraes was a current resident of Massachusetts and was able and available to work in Massachusetts, but was unable to due to the pandemic. As a result, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance paid a total of $5,202 in benefits before suspending payments due to an inability to reach Chelbe Moraes.

Chelbe Moraes is currently charged in a separate case in Massachusetts for alleged forced labor conspiracy; encouraging and inducing an alien to come to, enter and remain in the United States for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, knowing and in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry and residence is or will be in violation of law and conspiring to do so; money laundering conspiracy; and money laundering.

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