If you've received a letter from the EDD that claims your account has been opened, be extra vigilant. You can report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission or ask EDD for further information. EDD's Help Fight Fraud page contains helpful resources for victims of identity theft. In recent years, the state has continued to warn residents about fraud and aggressive scammers and to encourage people to safeguard their personal information.
According to the Employment Development Department, more than $20 billion in benefits has been paid to fraudulent actors since the pandemic began. Last year, this amount was up to $31 billion. The department has said it was an anomaly, but KFSN-TV recently found evidence of potential fraud still occurring. The EDD has a task force to coordinate investigations, and Scott's office has five attorneys who specialize in various aspects of the law.
EDD fraud cases occur when former employees or people who have lost their jobs submit false information to claim benefits. Unemployment insurance benefits are supposed to help people who lost their jobs. However, not everyone is eligible for them. This is why it's so important to find the right attorney specializing in California EDD fraud cases. It's crucial to seek legal advice as early as possible, because an EDD fraud attorney can help you fight back.
In April, a grand jury in Little Rock indicted 10 Arkansas residents for cashing in California EDD debit cards. One of them, Madison Clark, worked as a customer service agent at Bank of America, where she accessed Bank of America systems without authorisation. She then used her EDD debit cards to reissue debit cards, remove fraud blocks, and add credits to people's unemployment accounts. The other defendants were allegedly responsible for taking at least $700 from their EDD accounts. At the time of the federal indictment, one defendant was already on bond for a felony murder.
The federal government and state governments investigate EDD fraud cases very thoroughly. In most cases, a conviction is possible if sufficient evidence exists. In other cases, a criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor on a plea bargain, thereby minimizing liability and reducing the sentence. Therefore, your criminal defense lawyer should be able to negotiate a favorable restitution deal with the EDD if you don't want to face trial.
Another case is related to a California EDD fraud. An individual with the same name as the defendant is linked to 42 different personal identifying information profiles. The person is believed to have received over $675k in EDD benefits by December 2020. He then allegedly relocated to Knoxville, Tenn. and used his stolen identity to obtain benefits. This case is ongoing and continues to draw attention.
The penalties for California EDD fraud are severe. Depending on the amount of money involved and the nature of the offense, penalties range from a few thousand dollars to a few years in jail. If the EDD has a chance to find you guilty of unemployment insurance fraud, the penalty is steep. A felony conviction could land you in prison for up to two years. For instance, if you knowingly received an unemployment benefit, you must reimburse it, and pay a 30% penalty. Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can negotiate a reimbursement agreement with the EDD and avoid paying out.
Some people may be unaware that welfare fraud was widespread in California. A former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California estimated that eighty million dollars were fraudulently processed in the names of convicted killers. Another case involved $21,000 in benefits to an address in Roseville in the name of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. This fraud is widespread and a result of the same circumstances that lead to other edd frauds.
Another Florida case involved three women sentenced to federal prison time after committing Fraud Recovery Experts against the California unemployment system. Bonize Bon, 32-year-old Miami residents, were found guilty of defrauding the unemployment system. Their convictions will require them to pay $104,570 in restitution to the California Employment Development Department. And the punishments for these California edd fraud cases are growing.