Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Over 40 Arrested for Fraud of California COVID Unemployment Benefits
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
September 18, 2020

Share

Investigators unraveling an identity fraud scheme targeting California’s unemployment system have arrested 44 people in Beverly Hills this month alone, officials said Thursday.

More arrests are expected as the California Employment Development Department and federal authorities investigate reports of people receiving unsolicited letters, some with debit cards, from the state’s jobless agency, the EDD said.

“Scammers are using a complex profile of stolen personal identifying information most likely obtained from national and global data breaches,” the department said.

Investigators suspect scammers are attempting to intercept fraudulent items when they are mailed so they can cash in on the jobless benefits, the agency said.

The agency is focusing on a segment of jobless claims called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which helped people not normally eligible to receive unemployment benefits, including independent contractors.

Some of the PUA claims were backdated in an effort to speed up the delivery of benefits. But that practice created a vulnerability in the system that enabled fraud rings to capitalize on earlier payments, officials said.

A Total of $289,000 in Cash Also Was Seized From the Suspects Along With Seven Handguns

“The EDD took action to shut down automatic backdating in the PUA program,” EDD said. “Following that, PUA applications dropped sharply to 145,790 last week, a decline of more than 72%.”

In Beverly Hills, 129 EDD debit cards were recovered with a total value exceeding $2.5 million, the city’s Police Department said in a statement Wednesday.

A total of $289,000 in cash also was seized from the suspects along with seven handguns.

The investigation found that people were coming into California from out of state to fraudulently obtain EDD debit cards using stolen identities.

The monetary value placed on the cards can be as high as $20,000 and cardholders are able to withdraw up to $1,000 per day per card, police said.

“The suspects will most often have numerous EDD cards in their possession with other people’s identities, along with large amounts of cash. They will then use the cards to lease short-term rentals, rent luxury vehicles, dine at restaurants and purchase high-end merchandise,” the department said.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

DON'T MISS

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

DON'T MISS

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

DON'T MISS

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

DON'T MISS

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

DON'T MISS

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

DON'T MISS

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

DON'T MISS

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

DON'T MISS

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

DON'T MISS

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

UP NEXT

Paris Hilton Backs California Bill to Bring More Transparency to Youth Treatment Facilities

UP NEXT

Ex-Marine Gets 9 Years in Prison for Firebombing California Planned Parenthood Clinic

UP NEXT

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

UP NEXT

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

UP NEXT

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

7 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /

7 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

Local Education /

7 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

8 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

8 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

Breaking News /

8 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

8 hours ago

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

Local Education /

9 hours ago

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

9 hours ago

Charges Against Trump and Jan. 6 Rioters at Stake as Supreme Court Hears Debate Over Obstruction Law

9 hours ago

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

NEW YORK — Whitey Herzog, the gruff and ingenious Hall of Fame manager who guided the St. Louis Cardinals to three pennants and a World Seri...

2 hours ago

2 hours ago

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

2 hours ago

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

5 hours ago

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

7 hours ago

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

Local Education /
7 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /
7 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

8 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

8 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend