On March 24th, 2020

Former EDD Employee Sentenced to Prison for Unemployment Benefits Fraud California EDD assisted with investigation

SACRAMENTO – On March 19, 2020, Pamela Emanuel, 58, of San Jose, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison and ordered to pay $773,733 in restitution for her role in scheme to defraud the state of California by filing false unemployment insurance claims.
According to court documents, between July 22, 2015, and July 14, 2016, Emanuel and her co-conspirators engaged in a scheme to defraud the state of California. Emanuel worked as a tax compliance representative for the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and used her position to access the personal identifying information of workers throughout California. The conspirators used that information to file fraudulent unemployment claims in the names of the unknowing victims. In total, the conspirators filed at least 269 false claims seeking more than $2.4 million in fraudulent benefits. EDD’s actual overpayment was approximately $887,199.
Emanuel was the fifth co-conspirator to be sentenced for their participation in this scheme:
  • On August 16, 2018, Brittany Maunakea, 30, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and ordered to pay approximately $139,000 in restitution.
  • On Sept. 20, 2018, Sergio Doriante Sanchez Reyna, 26, was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $436,000 in restitution.
  • On Feb. 22, 2019, Gregory Lee, 57, of Antioch was sentenced to 9 years in prison and ordered to pay approximately $353,000 in restitution.
  • On Sept. 19, 2019, Russell White III, 38, of San Jose, was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $212,000 in restitution.
This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Employment Development Department, Investigations Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Schuller Hitchcock is prosecuting the case.
 
“Investigators at California EDD have always had an important role protecting funds that are meant to help those who find themselves unemployed,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “Their role will intensify with current events, making sure fraudsters are investigated, arrested and prosecuted.”

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