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Fraud gang led by woman serving life sentence gets $2 million in California unemployment benefits: DOJ

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A woman serving a life sentence for murder led a ring in prison that used a stolen identity to receive at least $2 million in California unemployment benefits, officials said Wednesday.

Federal authorities on Wednesday arrested five people associated with the gang who used stolen identities, some of which belonged to California prison inmates, to fraudulently apply for and receive unemployment benefits largely related to the pandemic, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Illness-related relief.

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37-year-old ring head Natalie Le Demola, a Covid-19 woman in the military She was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder in 2005, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Thirteen people have been charged in the scheme, including a 32-year-old Carleisha Neosha Plummer of Los Angeles was Demola’s “close associate” in prison until she was released on parole in July 2020.

All 13 have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud related to the scheme, which officials say involved the unlawful acquisition of personally identifiable information.

Some The identifying information was provided by an “unnamed prison officer” employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, officials said.

after getting people’s information – such as name, date of birth, and social security number — Ring will apply for benefits online The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the California Employment Development Department.

Some of the identity theft victims’ information was used to apply for benefits and they weren’t even eligible because they were either employed, retired or incarcerated, officials said.

Once the application was approved, the crew received debit cards that allowed them to withdraw money from ATMs in Southern California, the indictment said.

They ended up with at least $2 million in aid aimed at helping unemployed Californians.

The indictment lists various defendants on 31 counts of bank fraud and seven counts of aggravated identity theft.

Among the defendants named in the indictment are several detained: Los Angeles native James Antonio Johnson, 31; Loresa Shamon Davis, 31, of Moreno Valley; Posara, 32, of Lynwood Terry Johnson, Nandoni Sarah Sean Pace, 38, Los Angeles, Amber Jane Wade, 34, Palmdale, De Mora and Plummer.

Los Angeles native Khanshanda King, 31, Los Angeles native Cleshay Johnson II, 28, Los Angeles native Felicite Aleisha King, 41, Los Angeles native Shafequah Lynete Mitchell, 33, Dominique Charmone Martin Yucaipa, 37, and Los Angeles native Mykara Destiny, 23 Robertson.

The statutory maximum sentence for conspiracy and bank fraud charges is 30 years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Meanwhile, aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two consecutive years.

US News.

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