HOUSTON, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A Texas woman admitted to conspiring to commit wire fraud through Instagram and has pleaded guilty, authorities say.
Desiree Coleman, 22, of Houston, used her Instagram account with over 3,000 followers to conspire with others and commit wire fraud by submitting false applications for government assistance, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas.
A judge accepted Coleman’s plea, and she is scheduled to be sentenced May 1.
At that time, she faces up to five years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Coleman was permitted to remain on bond pending her hearing.
Between March and December 2020, Coleman used her platform to instruct others on how to defraud government programs and applied for others using false representations, prosecutors said.
Coleman would charge users a fee for every fraudulent application she filed, prosecutors said.
The 22-year-old also advertised her services via her Instagram stories. In her private Instagram messages, feds discovered conversations with clients regarding FEMA and unemployment fraud schemes, the USAO said.