“Thank you to the local, state and federal agencies that are committing their investigative efforts to bring to justice those who took advantage of a program meant to assist people who, almost immediately, became unemployed when the pandemic hit. These investigations are likely to continue in the many months ahead.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
VENTURA COUNTY – On December 23, 2021, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office announced that Andi Zois (DOB 05/27/84), AKA Simon Ondik, of Sibiu, Romania, was sentenced to 16 months in state prison for conspiring to steal unemployment insurance benefits from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
Zois was convicted of multiple felonies including grand theft, identity theft and conspiracy to make false unemployment insurance applications. He was also convicted of providing a false name to a police officer. Prior to his sentencing, Zois paid full restitution of $17,745 to the EDD.
In August 2021, Moorpark police investigated multiple reports from residents stating they had not applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, but that EDD issued benefits in their names. The UI funds were sent to multiple Bank of America (B of A) accounts. On August 23, 2021, Moorpark police surveilled a Moorpark ATM and observed Zois using multiple cloned debit cards to access B of A accounts. A cloned card has the electronic information obtained from a legitimate card reencoded on a second card. Bank surveillance photos showed Zois, and an unidentified co-conspirator, withdrawing fraudulently obtained UI benefits in Moorpark and Los Angeles. When arrested, Zois claimed his name was Simon Ondik and used a false passport in an attempt to bolster his false claim.
This case was prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office Fraud and Technology Crimes Unit and investigated by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the California Employment Development Department.