LOS ANGELES – On April 2, 2021 the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that a woman has been charged with fraudulently funneling more than $200,000 in disability payments to herself while she worked for the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD).
“When a state employee is accused of misusing a position of trust to steal public funds it tarnishes the reputation of all state employees who work daily to proudly and honestly serve the state and its citizens,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Thanks to an investigation by EDD investigators, this fraudulent activity was uncovered and this former civil servant faces prosecution.”
Karina Maria Valdez, (dob 12/30/82) was charged with one felony count each of embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, perjury, identity theft and grand theft.
The case was filed on March 16.
Beginning in 2014, Valdez is accused of manipulating the accounts of people seeking disability benefits while she worked as a disability insurance program representative. She allegedly routed debit cards with fraudulent information to herself and withdrew roughly $215,000 over a five-year period.
The case was investigated by EDD.