ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — (The above video is from November 24, 2020)
The Orange County District Attorney announced multiple arrests from three different cases of EDD fraud this morning.
Orange County DA Todd Spitzer announced the arrests of two men at a press conference. He said they opened a business "with the sole purpose of filing false unemployment claims with the state of California for people who did not qualify in order to steal taxpayer dollars intended to help those out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic," according to the press release.
The DA's investigation into the business, Nguyen Social Services found about $500,000 in cash and in bank accounts from the false claims. The DA's office believes over 1,000 false claims were filed by the business. Mai Dacsom Nguyen, 40, and Huy Duc Nguyen, 32, were both charged with felony counts of perjury, false statement and conspiracy to defraud another of property, according to the press release.
DA Spitzer also announced the prosecution of eight others, including six state prisoners, involved in two other unemployment fraud schemes. According to the press release, two convicted murderers attempted to file claims with the Employment Development Department saying that the pandemic impacted their ability to work when their sentences of up to life in prison are the reasons they are not working.
"This is not an Orange County problem. This is a statewide problem that has cost California taxpayers nearly $10 billion dollars in fake unemployment claims," Spitzer said. "Money that should have gone to out-of-work hairstylists, waiters, and other out-of-work Californians instead ended up in the pockets of cold-blooded murderers and businessmen who saw an opportunity to make a quick buck and took it - at the expense of taxpayers."
Spitzer said that these investigations into EDD fraud only scratch the surface of unemployment fraud in California.
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According to Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, some fraudulent EDD claims in California are coming from out of state.