SACRAMENTO—On February 9, 2017, Jermila McCoy, 34, of Oakland, was sentenced to nine years and two months in federal prison for a large identity theft scheme that defrauded the State of California of disability insurance benefits totaling $1.5 million.
According to court documents, McCoy used the stolen identities of people throughout California to file for disability benefits with the California Employment Development Department. She then used the stolen identities of doctors throughout California to certify the claims. Many of the doctors whose identities were used do not certify any disability claims as part of their practice. In one case, one physician was employed at a state prison and only treated inmates of that prison. After a claim was filed and certified, McCoy received the fraudulent disability benefits at addresses she controlled. Over 250 stolen identities were used to get fraudulent benefits as part of this scheme that took more than $1.5 million of fraudulent benefits.
“State disability insurance benefits are in place for those who need assistance while unable to work due to a disability,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “The sheer number of criminals who steal from law abiding Californians and our State through fraud is astonishing. Imagine the cases that would be uncovered if additional investigators were employed. Thankfully this individual was discovered, prosecuted and now sentenced to prison.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the California Employment Development Department, Criminal Investigations.