LOS ANGELES - On September 28, 2015 , a U.S. district judge sentenced Carl Artis, 55, of Lancaster, to more than six-and-a half years in federal prison for defrauding California's unemployment insurance program and for a related scam to obtain federal tax refunds. Artis, who plead guilty in February, was also ordered to pay $598,000 in restitution.
According to an investigation by the California Employment Development Department (EDD), U.S. Department of Labor , and IRS, Artis operated a four-year scheme to defraud the EDD of unemployment insurance benefits.
Artis registered fictitious companies with the EDD, submitted false wage information for people he claimed worked for those companies, and then fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits in the names of those individuals. Having served time in California state prison, Artis used the names of other prisoners to file the false claims. In addition to filing false claims with EDD, he also filed claims with the IRS to obtain federal tax refunds.
"EDD investigators work to uncover, expose, arrest and have prosecuted, individuals who steal from a fund meant to help those who are legitimately unemployed, while they search for new employment," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "For someone to go to the extremes of registering fictitious companies with the EDD and use the names of prisoners as supposed employees and then file for and collect unemployment is nothing short of criminal. I commend the investigators from all of the agencies involved for their role in the successful investigation, prosecution and sentencing of this individual."