LOS ANGELES-A former California Employment Development Department (EDD) employee in Riverside County agreed to plead guilty to file nearly 200 fraudulent COVID-related unemployment claims on behalf of others, resulting in more than $1.6 million in ill-gotten gains. Earnings, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on September 8.
Gabriela Llerenas, also known as Maria G. Sandoval, 49 years old, signed a plea agreement on Wednesday in which she agreed to plead guilty to one count of mail fraud.
Court records show that Ms. Perris previously served as a disability insurance plan representative at EDD. In March 2002, she resigned after admitting to fraudulently authorizing and paying EDD-administered disability benefits and was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for the program.
The new plan recognized by Llerenas takes advantage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2020 to expand eligibility for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Department of Justice (DOJ).
The CARES Act provides additional unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals and helps provide unemployment insurance benefits to others who are not eligible during the COVID-19 pandemic, including business owners, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and limited work experience People.
From April to October last year, Llerenas submitted and led to the submission of fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits to the EDD, which falsely claimed that the named claimants were self-employed independent contractors-usually identified as cake decorators or events Waiters-they have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the US Department of Justice, Llerenas obtained some of the names, social security numbers, and other identifying information she used to file fraudulent claims through her previous work as a tax preparer.
In her plea agreement, Llerenas also admitted to misrepresenting in some applications that the claimant is a resident of California, they actually live elsewhere and are entitled to unemployment insurance benefits administered by EDD. She also admitted that in some applications, she overstated the amount of income she reported for the claimant in order to maximize the amount of benefits. She also admitted that sometimes a dozen or more fraudulent EDD claims were filed in one day.
Due to the fraudulent application for unemployment benefits submitted by Llerenas, EDD authorized Bank of America to mail the debit card in the name of the claimant to the address she provided, including her residence, her husband’s place of business, and her mother’s The statement, the apartment as well as the addresses of friends and other family members.
Llerenas admitted that she charged the designated claimant a fee for filing an application, which was usually paid from fraudulent benefits. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in at least one case, she told the designated claimant that she was still working in EDD and could control the distribution of unemployment insurance benefits, and then asked for additional “distribution” of benefits.
As a result of the program, a total of 197 debit cards were fraudulently issued, resulting in losses of at least $1,633,487 for EDD and the U.S. Treasury Department, Llerenas admitted.
Llerenas plans to appear in Los Angeles Federal Court for the first time on September 22. She agreed that the criminal offense she pleaded guilty can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in federal prison.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times