The EDD Actively Prosecutes Fraud

The Employment Development Department (EDD) administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI), Disability Insurance (DI), Paid Family Leave (PFL), and Employment Tax programs for the State of California. To support these programs and the payment of benefits, the EDD collects the associated employment payroll taxes.

At the EDD, we are dedicated to detecting, deterring, and preventing any occurrence of fraud in these programs. We use a variety of cutting-edge methods to detect fraudulent activity. We pursue cases involving the fraudulent receipt of benefit payments or evasion of payroll tax reporting obligations and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

The EDD provides fraud deterrence outreach and education to assist claimants, employers, and their representatives so they understand the serious consequences of committing fraud.

For more information about fraud and how to report it, visit Help Fight Fraud and Ask EDD: Report Fraud.

Recent Fraud Convictions

Previous Year Fraud Convictions: 2019 | 2018

Here are current year fraud convictions detected by the EDD and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

December 2020

  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: YA100937
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $128,180
  • Claimant: Irna Rae Rose Daniels
  • Conviction: The claimant was convicted on 3/3/20 and pleaded nolo-contendere to one felony count of violating section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant was placed on formal probation for a period of five years, ordered to perform 45 days of structured community service, and to make restitution to the EDD of $128,180.
  • Summary: This case was a conspiracy involving multiple individuals where the main suspect, an office manager in a doctor’s office, falsified medical information and forged the signature of her physician employer to file multiple claims for herself and others. The claimant collaborated with the main suspect to be placed on multiple Disability Insurance claims under false pretenses, then submitted forged medical certifications to obtain benefits. She was also fully employed and failed to report her work and earnings while receiving benefits.
  • County: Riverside
  • Court Case Number: 5:20-mj-00537
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $516,337
  • Claimant: Cara Marie Kirk-Connell
  • Conviction: United States Code, Title 18, section 1029 (a)(2) – Use of an Unauthorized Access Device
  • Summary of Incident: Kirk-Connell was arrested by the Murrieta Police Dept. on 09/11/20 during a traffic stop.  Kirk-Connell was found to be in possession of eight EDD debit cards in the names of other persons. The day prior to her arrest, Kirk-Connell used fraudulently obtained EDD debit cards to withdraw more than $1,000 in cash. Investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General arrested Kirk-Connell with eight EDD debit cards in other person’s names in her possession and approximately $10,000 in cash. On 12/16/20, Kirk-Connell pled guilty to violation of United States Code, Title 18 section 1029(a)(2). Sentencing is set on a future date. This case is a joint investigation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, the Murrieta Police Department, and the EDD Investigation Division. 
  • Media Release: The United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District, issued a press release on 12/16/20.
  • County: San Diego
  • Court Case Number: SCE401903
  • Suspects: Jose Orozco
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $77,610
  • Conviction: On 11/12/20, Orozco plead guilty to the following Penal Code sections:
    • One felony count of section 530.5(c)(2)
    • One felony count of section 530.5(c)(3)
    • One felony count of section 530.5(a.
  • Sentence: Orozco was sentenced to five years in local prison; one year in custody and four years under mandatory supervision. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the EDD in the amount of $77,610 jointly and severally with co-defendant, Alexandra Castaneda. 
  • Summary of Incident: Following a police investigation on an unrelated matter, the El Cajon Police Department conducted a search of the suspect’s residence and discovered personal identifying information believed to belong to victims of identity theft. There were documents indicating that at least eight identification profiles were used to complete fraudulent Unemployment Insurance benefit applications. This is a joint investigation with the San Diego County District Attorney’s office, El Cajon Police Department, and the EDD Investigation Division.
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: YA101332
  • Claimant: Kermin Roberts
  • EDD Loss: $30,501
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded no contest to one felony count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant provided a cashier's check of ten thousand dollars restitution against the total amount owed and was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and to serve five years of formal probation.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant collected Disability Insurance benefits while continuing to be employed.   
  • County: San Mateo
  • Court Case Number: 20SF006666A
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $5,701
  • Claimant: Marissa Cherie De La Cruz
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded guilty to section 2101(a) of the California Unemployment Insurance Code as a misdemeanor.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to 20 days in jail and two years on probation.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant was employed and failed to report her work and earnings to the EDD while collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits.
  • County: Ventura
  • Court Case Number: 2014036597 F A
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $237,420
  • Employer: David Burgmeier DBA Burgmeier Construction
  • Conviction: The employer pleaded guilty to four counts each for violations of section 11880(a)(1) of the Insurance Code, and section 2118.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code. The employer submitted a check for $10,000 to the court payable to the EDD for partial restitution pending sentence scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office forwarded an allegation that the employer was paying wages to employees but not reporting the wages to the EDD and other required agencies.
  • County: Miami Dade, FL
  • Court Case Number:  CR19-403-CAS – 1,2 & 4
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $126,438
  • Suspects: Bonize Bon, Bonia Bon, Gregory Bon, & Elida Dieujuste
  • Convictions: The claimants each pleaded guilty to violation of United States Code, Title 18, section 1341 - mail fraud on the dates shown:
    • Bonize Bon pled guilty on 12/03/20
    • Bonia Bon pled guilty on 11/16/20
    • Elida Dieujuste pled guilty on 11/16/20
  • Summary of Incident:  An allegation was received regarding potential Unemployment Insurance fraud based on identity theft. UI claims were filed from Florida using the personal identifying information of California residents without their knowledge. The claimants initially utilized a California mailing address to establish the UI claims and then proceeded to change the address to a Florida address thereby bypassing the Department’s address detection safeguards. It is believed that multiple individual group cells were involved in perpetrating this scheme with the four defendants associated with 128 fraudulent UI claims for a loss of $126,438.
  • County: San Diego
  • Court Case Number: SCE401903
  • Suspects: Alexandra Castaneda
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $77,610
  • Conviction: On 10/30/20, Castaneda pleaded guilty to the following Penal Code sections:
    • One felony count of section 487(a)
    • One felony count of section 530.5(c)(2)
    • One felony count of section 530.5(a)
  • Sentence: Castaneda was sentenced to three years in local prison; one year in custody and two years under mandatory supervision. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the EDD in the amount of $77,610, jointly and severally with co-defendant, Jose Orozco. 
  • Summary of Incident:  Following a police investigation on an unrelated matter, the El Cajon Police Department conducted a search of the suspect’s residence and discovered personal identifying information believed to belong to victims of identity theft. There were documents indicating that at least eight identification profiles were used to complete fraudulent Unemployment Insurance benefit applications. This is a joint investigation with the San Diego County District Attorney’s office and the EDD Investigation Division.

November 2020

  • County: Contra Costa
  • Court Case Number: 01-187788-5
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $226,671
  • Employer: Selina Singh and Kabir Singh DBA Bara Infoware/Federal Solutions Group
  • Convictions: On 9/01/20 the employers pleaded guilty to felony violations as follows:
    1. Selina Singh: Sections 11880(a) of the Insurance Code, 2117.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, and 186.11 of the Penal Code.
    2. Kabir Singh: Sections 11880(a) of the Insurance Code and 186.11 of the Penal Code.
  • Sentences: Felony convictions will be reduced to misdemeanors if restitution is paid in full prior to completion of probation. Restitution is to be paid jointly and severally among the co-defendants.
  • Selina Singh was sentenced as follows:
    • Five years formal probation
    • 364 days in jail (electronic home detention applies)
    • $250,000 fine per section186.11 of the Penal Code
    • Restitution ordered:
      • $226,671.79 to the EDD
      • $25,563 to the State Compensation Insurance Fund
      • $590,580 to private insurance carriers
  • Kabir Singh was sentenced as follows:
    • Five years formal probation
    • 364 days in jail (electronic home detention)
    • Restitution ordered:
      • $226,671.79 to the EDD
      • $25,563 to the State Compensation Insurance Fund
      • $590,580 to private insurance carriers
  • Summary of Incident: Bara Infoware/Federal Solutions Group underreported $3,046,501 of employee wages to the EDD.
  • County: United States District Court - Sacramento
  • Court Case Number: 2:20-cr-009-KJM
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $219,871
  • Claimant: Angela Stubblefield
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded guilty to one felony count each of United States Code Title 22, section 371, Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, and section 1028A, Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to two years and six months in prison, and 24 months of supervised probation.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant and co-defendant, Katherine Decker, conspired to use Decker’s position as an employee of the EDD to file fraudulent Disability Insurance claims and extensions of existing claims using the names and identities of real persons with and without their knowledge.
  • Media Releases: On 11/09/20, the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California issued a press release.

October 2020

  • County: Los Angeles County
  • Court Case Number: YA102059
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $66,100
  • Claimant: Gricelda Sanchez
  • Conviction: On 9/22/20, the claimant pleaded no contest and was convicted of one felony count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: On 10/2/20, the claimant agreed to pay $66,100 to the EDD and complete 60 days of community service.
  • Summary of Incident: This case was a conspiracy involving multiple individuals where the main suspect, an office manager in a doctor’s office, falsified medical information and forged the signature of her physician employer to file multiple Disability Insurance claims for herself and others. The claimant collaborated with the main suspect to be placed on a claim under false pretenses then submitted forged medical certifications to collect benefits.

September 2020

  • County: United States District Court - Sacramento
  • Court Case Number: 2:20-cr-009-KJM
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $373,565
  • Claimant: Katherine Decker
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded guilty to one felony count each for violation of United States Code (USC) Title 18, section 371, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and section 1028A USC, aggravated identity theft.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to three years seven months in prison and 12 months of supervised probation.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant was an employee of the EDD in conspiracy with another to file 15 fraudulent Disability Insurance claims and extensions of existing claims using the names and identities of real persons with and without their knowledge. 
  • Media Releases:
    On 09/14/20, the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California, issued a press release.
    On 9/15/20, Sacramento television, KCRA also reported the sentence.
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: YA101296
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $119,256
  • Claimant: Patricia Robles
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded no contest to one felony count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant was ordered to pay $119,256 in restitution to the EDD and to perform 180 hours of community service. She was also placed on formal probation for five years.
  • Summary of Incident: This case was a conspiracy involving multiple individuals where the main suspect, an office manager in a doctor’s office, falsified medical information and forged the signature of her physician employer to file multiple Disability Insurance claims for herself and others. The claimant collaborated with the main suspect to be placed on a claim under false pretenses then submitted forged medical certifications to collect benefits.

August 2020

  • County: Los Angeles County
  • Court Case Number:BA473778
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $124,505
  • Claimant: Evia Anderson
  • Conviction: On 06/26/19, the claimant pleaded nolo contendere to one felony count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: On 08/26/20, the claimant was placed on summary probation for a period of 18 months, was ordered to perform 33 days of community labor, and to make restitution to EDD for the full amount due. Proof of payment is due on 11/4/20. The felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant failed to report her work and earnings while collecting Disability Insurance benefits from six claims.

July 2020

  • County: Contra Costa
  • Court Case Numbers: 01-193357-1
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $808,455
  • Employer: Maurosan Milhomen and Jorge Neukirchen DBA Viking Pavers Inc.
  • Conviction: On 07/27/20, Milhomen pleaded no contest to one count each of section 2117.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, and section 11760(a) of the Insurance Code, both felonies.
  • Sentence: Milhomen was sentenced to five years of formal probation, 364 days of home detention, and was ordered to pay a restitution amount of $808,455 to the EDD.  All counts against Neukirchen were dismissed in the interest of justice.
  • Summary of Incident: The employer withheld revenue of Viking Pavers Inc. as “bad debt” unpaid by customers which were documented in a second set of accounting records. The checks, along with payroll cash receipts, were turned over to a check cashing vendor and the funds from these checks were used to pay day laborers in cash, apart from acknowledged employees. The employers also misclassified payments made to unlicensed subcontractors through an “outside materials” expense account. The cash paid to day laborers and the payments made to unlicensed subcontractors were not reported to the EDD.
  • Media Releases: The Contra Costa Herald and CBS Bay Area broadcasting affiliate issued reports describing the violations and conviction.

March 2020

  • County: Eastern District of California, Sacramento
  • Court Case Number: 2:17-CR-0060MCE
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $887,199 (total conspiratorial overpayment)
  • Claimant: Pamela Emanuel
  • Conviction: On 12/10/19 the claimant pleaded guilty to violation of United States Code, Title 18, sections 1341, Mail Fraud, and §1028A (a)(1), Aggravated Identity Theft.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to six years and three months in prison and was ordered to pay $773,733 in restitution.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant was a co-conspirator in an identity theft scheme involving over 250 victims. Charges are pending against other defendants. Between 07/22/15 and 07/14/16, the suspect and four co-defendants perpetrated a scheme to obtain benefit payment debit cards issued in the names of identity theft victims to fraudulently obtain Unemployment Insurance benefits. The conspirators filed 269 false claims attempting to obtain $2.4 million in fraudulent benefits. This case was investigated by the EDD mutually with U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Media Release: On 03/20/20, the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California, issued a media release describing the sentence of Pamela Emanuel.
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: YA100937
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $128,180
  • Claimant: Irna Daniels
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded nolo-contendere to one felony count of violating section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: Sentencing is continued to a future date.
  • Summary: The claimant submitted forged medical certifications to obtain Disability Insurance benefits from seven claims. She was also fully employed and failed to report her work and earnings while receiving benefits.

February 2020

  • County: Kern
  • Court Case Numbers: BF176611A, BF176611B, BF176611C, and BF176611D
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $1,131,764 (including penalties and interest)
  • Employer: Gabriel Moreno Gallardo, DBA, Kern County Cultivation, Inc.; South Valley AG Services; and West Valley Farming.
  • Conviction: On 01/15/20 Gabriel Moreno Gallardo pleaded guilty to violation of section 182(a)(1) of the Penal Code and sections 2101.5 and 2118.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code. A Harvey Waiver was stipulated on the remaining counts and allegations. The plea was combined for violations related to the employer’s three business entities represented in each of the EDD investigation cases. All counts for Silvia Esther Gallardo were dismissed.
  • Sentence: On 02/21/20 the employer was sentenced to one year in county jail, five years of felony probation, and was ordered to pay $1,131,764 restitution for violations associated with his three employer entities. As a condition of his plea, the employer is not allowed to own or operate any business during the term of his probation.
  • Summary of Incident: Gabriel Moreno Gallardo, with the help of family members, continued to open and close accounts with the EDD leaving unpaid tax balances. In order to continue operating without paying the tax liabilities due, each employer registration was opened under a different business and owner name. In some instances, no returns were submitted to the EDD and no liability payments were remitted to the EDD. However, several claimants have collected Unemployment and Disability Insurance benefits against these accounts, including the employer Gabriel Moreno Gallardo and his wife.
  • Media Release: On 02/26/20, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office issued a media advisory.
  • County: Santa Barbara
  • Court Case Number: 1494847
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $100,730 (includes penalties and interest)
  • Employer: Mark Melchiori, DBA, Melchiori Construction
  • Sentence: Based on a felony plea during October 2019 for violations including diversion of construction funds, the employer was sentenced on 02/20/20 to nine years and four months in state prison. The employer was ordered to pay $1,030,708 restitution to his contracting agent and was ordered to pay $1,000,000 restitution pursuant to section 186.11(c) of the Penal Code (“white collar crime enhancement” to freeze assets).
  • Summary of Incident: The employer withheld taxes from his employee’s wages, however failed to report the wages and remit payroll taxes to the EDD and other agencies.
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: VA146125
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $9,833
  • Claimant: Michael Figueroa
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded nolo-contendere to felony violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to serve one day in the Los Angeles County Jail, to serve three years of probation, and was ordered to pay full restitution, which he has paid.
  • Summary: The claimant failed to report his work and earnings while collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits.
  • County: Fresno
  • Court Case Number: F14905405
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $2947 (state tax liability, including penalties and interest)
  • Employer: Travis Jay Alexander, DBA, United Guard Service
  • Conviction: On 12/05/19, the employer pleaded no contest to one count for violation of section 11880(a) of the Insurance Code and one count for violation of section 2106, of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: On 02/04/20, the employer was sentenced to one year in county jail, and 275 days to be served on electronic monitoring, plus five years of formal probation upon release from custody. Restitution was ordered for the amount due to the EDD plus additional amounts owed to the State Compensation Insurance Fund and to former employees for unpaid wages. 
  • Summary of Incident: The EDD received information alleging that employees of United Guard Service were being paid in cash and that tax deductions from their pay were not remitted to the EDD.

January 2020

  • County: US District Court – Central District of California
  • Court Case Number: 8:19-00094-AG
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $586,000
  • Claimant: Jeffrey Silhanek
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded guilty to two counts for violation of United States Code, Title 18, section 1341 – Mail Fraud
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release. During sentencing, the claimant provided a check in the amount of $40,000 to be applied towards his restitution.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant filed Unemployment Insurance claims using stolen identities of approximately 250 individuals. The claimant controlled the mailing addresses to which the benefit checks were mailed and also received payments through direct deposit from EDD debit cards.
  • County: Calaveras
  • Court Case Number: 18F7290
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $27,028
  • Employer:  Christopher Rinauro, DBA, Proper Pruning Service
  • Conviction: The employer pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts for violation of sections 2101 and 2106 of the Unemployment Insurance Code for payroll tax fraud and two misdemeanor counts for violation of section 11880 of the Insurance Code for Workers’ Compensation Insurance fraud.
  • Sentence: The employer was sentenced to three years of probation, ordered to perform 120 hours of community service, and to pay restitution of an amount to be determined during a restitution hearing scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The employer operated a tree trimming business. Investigation revealed the employer intentionally failed to report all his employee wages to the EDD and knowingly made a false statement to the State Compensation Insurance Fund for the purpose of reducing the cost of his Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
  • County: Placer
  • Court Case Number: 62-165091
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $11,163
  • Subject: Angela Washington
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded no contest to felony violation of section 487(a) of the Penal Code.
  • Sentence: Sentence is scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant was employed and failed to report her work and earnings while receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits.
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: BA459168
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $66,111
  • Claimant: Cupid Hall
  • Conviction: The defendant pleaded guilty to felony violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The defendant was ordered to pay full restitution to the EDD, to serve three years of formal probation, to perform 100 hours of community service, and 364 days of electronic monitoring.
  • Summary of Incident: The defendant was employed by a doctor whose signature she forged to authorize seven Disability Insurance claims for five individuals from whom she received cash payments.