State: 68 people arrested so far on suspicion of COVID-related unemployment fraud

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Nearly 70 people have been arrested on suspicion of COVID-related unemployment fraud, according to the state. 

The task force established by Gov. Gavin Newsom in November says 68 people statewide have been arrested and more than 1,600 cases of suspected COVID-related unemployment fraud are under investigation. 

“This coordinated and targeted partnership between government and law enforcement has been very successful so far in detecting and disrupting COVID-19 related fraud schemes,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of Cal OES and California’s Homeland Security advisor. “We want to send a clear and unmistakable message to those who would choose to exploit a once in a generation crisis, to steal from vulnerable individuals – do not try it. We will leverage all resources to investigate and prosecute you.”

The Kern County District Attorney’s Office has hired an additional investigator to focus on Employment Development Department fraud.  Kern County is leading the California Task Force, which says it’s making headway as it looks into suspected fraud in area prisons.

In the month of March, 51 new investigations began in the Central Valley, with multiple arrests made.

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