SACRAMENTO— A Stockton man was arrested at his home on September 20, 2016 after a federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment, charging him with unemployment fraud.
According to court documents, from about May 2011 to March 2013, Herbert Alexander, 69, created a “fictitious employer” with the name Lowes Wholesale by submitting information to EDD. Lowes Wholesale did not conduct any business. Alexander then allegedly created fictitious employees for Lowes Wholesale using identities of other people. Some of the fictitious employees were knowing participants in the scheme while others were victims of identity theft. Alexander subsequently filed unemployment claims in the names of the fake employees.
"Unemployment fraud is a crime against all of us," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "EDD investigators team with local and federal law enforcement officers to uncover those who are ripping off the system. In this case, a suspect other than Alexander, is accused of collecting more than a half million dollars in fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits.
This is the second indictment returned as a result of this investigation. On December 30, 2015, Deborah Hollimon of Stockton and West Memphis, Arkansas, was charged with unemployment fraud and identity theft. Hollimon is accused of filing unemployment claims in her own name and the names of the fake laid-off employees. The fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits were usually mailed to an address controlled by Hollimon. In this way, Hollimon is said to have collected more than $550,000 in fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits.
Hollimon is currently a fugitive. Anyone with information on her whereabouts should call (415) 625-2685. If convicted, Hollimon faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She also faces a mandatory minimum two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, which would run consecutive to any other sentence imposed.
If convicted, Alexander faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.