Troy man admits to obtaining fraudulently COVID benefits

A Troy man has admitted to fraudulently obtained COVID-19 pandemic benefits.

Christopher Ward, 45, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Thursday to conspiring to defraud the New York State Department of Labor by obtaining unemployment benefits under the name of another person. Some of these benefits were connected to the pandemic.

Ward admitted that he provided Carl J. DiVeglia III with the personal identifying information of another individual, which DiVeglia used to file a false claim via the NYSDOL website. As a result, the state paid about $15,000 in benefits. Ward agreed to pay restitution.

DiVeglia had previously pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining $1.6 million in benefits as part of the scheme.

Ward faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years when he is sentenced on June 27.

Charges against Ward’s three co-defendants, his brother Todd Ward, Rocco Resciniti and Jamaine Myers are still pending.