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CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A Cranston man admitted in court Thursday that he illegally obtained $450,000 by taking advantage of pandemic unemployment benefits, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins.

Dquintz Alexander, 36, pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Alexander was arrested in 2021 after investigators found he submitted false information to the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program to receive the benefits, prosecutors said. The applications were submitted in Massachusetts between April and June 2020.

A co-conspirator, Norman Higgs, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy in September 2021. He opened the accounts that received the money, according to court documents.

Alexander is scheduled to be sentenced in August. Prosecutors said he faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and conspiracy, along with fines and supervised release. The identity theft charge had a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

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