311 phone line, PUA center shut down temporarily over possible COVID-19 case

TEMPORARILY CLOSED: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance processing center in Hagåtña is closed temporarily after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The center is shown at its previous location at Guam Community College in 2020. Post file photo

Another person was indicted in connection with allegations of defrauding the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

Myra Laca Imanil was indicted Friday by a Superior Court grand jury for allegedly falsifying records as part of her PUA application.

Imanil was indicted on three counts of identity theft as a third-degree felony and three counts of unsworn falsification as a misdemeanor, according to a statement from the Office of the Attorney General.

The AG's office stated Imanil is accused of obtaining someone else's identification and using it to apply for PUA administered by the Guam Department of Labor.

Imanil also is accused of writing a falsified letter and submitting it to GDOL, the AG's office stated.

The federally funded PUA is intended to benefit individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 30,000 Guam residents have received PUA benefits totaling $635.8 million since June 2020.

Imanil will answer to the charges during her arraignment hearing at a later date.

In March, a man also was indicted for falsifying records as part of his PUA claim.

Before that, Jerome Michael Cruz, who was employed by GDOL as a customer service staffer, admitted in a recent federal case that he stole PUA benefits by claiming he was jobless. He diverted certain electronic benefit payments for other claimants to bank accounts he controlled, according to documents filed in the case against him.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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