SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Officials are charging a man after they say he and others used stolen identities in a scheme for money.

According to US Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Robert Brownstein, 51, of Scranton, along with conspirators allegedly used stolen identities to create forged identification documents, credit, and debit cards.

Investigators say that the conspirators used those forged items and stolen identities to open bank accounts, apply for lines of credit, and buy retail merchandise.

The conspirators also applied for multiple COVID-19 pandemic relief loans issued under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including submitting false federal tax documentation.

Brownstein has been charged with criminal information with wire fraud conspiracy and aggravated identity theft.

Anyone with information about attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF web complaint form.