A former Veterans Affairs cashier in Pittsburgh has been indicted on charges of embezzling from patients and ripping off the government through a COVID-19 relief fraud scheme.
Corey Mizell, of Pittsburgh, was charged Wednesday by a federal grand jury, and the case was unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court.
A former cashier, he is accused of four counts of stealing from patient funds at the VA and another count of collecting federal COVID relief money by saying he was unemployed when he was working at the VA.
The grand jury said that in 2020 and 2021, Mizell embezzled money from veterans identified only by their initials as RS, JW, DC and JG. The amounts are not specified in the indictment other than to say they each exceeded $1,000.
In the other scheme, the grand jury said that from April 2020 through September 2021, Mizell filed claims with the state Department of Labor and Industry in which he said he was unemployed because of the pandemic. As a result, he received emergency benefit money from two federal programs established by the CARES Act to offer relief for those impacted by the pandemic.
Mizell received a pandemic relief debit card in June 2020.
He appeared briefly in federal court on Thursday after his arrest. and a federal magistrate judge released him on a $50,000 bond pending trial.
The case was investigated by the inspector general offices of the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Torsten covers the courts for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.