Three indicted in $1.4 million prison-based EDD fraud scheme

Crime Watch

FRESNO, Calif. (KGET) — A federal grand jury has indicted three people — including two Kern County inmates — in a scheme to submit more than $1.4 million in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, authorities said.

Daryol Richmond, 30, Telvin Breaux, 29, and Holly White, 30, are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California. Richmond is an inmate at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano and Breaux is held at California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi.

The inmates created fake email accounts and used different physical addresses throughout Southern California in submitting applications stating they were unemployed but available to work, according to the release. In some instances, they allegedly paid family members and associates up to $1,000 to use their addresses.

They said in the applications they had worked as clothing merchants and handymen when they were in fact incarcerated, the release says.

The total loss to the state Employment Development Department is more than $270,000, federal prosecutors say.

The defendants face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

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