The State of New Jersey has a system to collect and maintain abandoned money that is owned to people or entities in the Garden State. Authorities say a man from Camden County fraudulently obtained over $150,000 from that system over a seven-month period.

39-year-old Alfred Powner II of Camden has been charged with one count of wire fraud. He was scheduled to appear in court via videoconference Thursday afternoon.

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Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig says the website for New Jersey's Unclaimed Property Administration allows people to verify whether the UPA is holding funds for a particular person or entity. From September, 2019, through March, 2020, Powner submitted a fraudulent application and other fraudulent information to the UPA in support of a claim for money distribution, which totaled approximately $150,000.

Additionally, Honig says,

...the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL) administers and manages unemployment insurance benefit (UIB) programs. Records revealed that NJDOL caused approximately $5,000 to be sent to a bank account Powner controlled in response to a claim for UIBs. NJDOL also received two additional UIB claims, from purportedly separate claimants, that requested that UIB funds be sent to Powner’s bank account. The three individuals whose names were used to make these UIB claims were deceased at the time the UIB claims were made.

The charge of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, special agents with the FBI, and special agents of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration with the investigation that lead to Powner's arrest.

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