On July 11th, 2022

Six Arrested for Allegedly Fraudulently Obtaining $2 Million in COVID-19 Jobless Benefits California Employment Development Department – Investigation Division is assisting with investigation

“It is important that investigators look into those who fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits during the pandemic.  This financial assistance was meant for individuals who suddenly found themselves without a job due to COVID-19, but unfortunately many unscrupulous individuals scammed the system and collected money they shouldn’t have.” CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

LOS ANGELES – On July 6, 2022, law enforcement officers arrested six defendants charged in a federal grand jury indictment alleging they fraudulently obtained more than $2 million in COVID-19-related unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by submitting fraudulent applications in the names of others that falsely asserted, among other things, that the claimants were salon and barbershop workers who were without jobs because of the pandemic.

The 14-count indictment charges eight defendants with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Two of the defendants are fugitives.

According to the indictment, from March 2020 to July 2021, Robert Campbell Jr., 29, of Corona, the case’s lead defendant, orchestrated a conspiracy to steal the UI benefits. Campbell and his co-conspirators, including Regjinay Tate, 28, also of Corona, allegedly used the personally identifiable information (PII) of others – including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers – to file fraudulent UI applications with the California Employment Development Department (EDD), which administers the state’s unemployment insurance program.

The fraudulent UI claims were federally funded through programs authorized by Congress in response to the pandemic, including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Lost Wage Assistance (LWAP) programs.

According to the indictment, many of the fraudulent claims were made on behalf of ineligible out-of-state claimants as well as on behalf of claimants ineligible for benefits because of their incarceration, including one claimant in Texas. One of the conspirators boasted about obtaining a homeless man’s PII, the indictment alleges.

Generally, the fraudulent applications falsely stated the claimants’ prior annual income at $42,000 and that they were unemployed self-employed individuals whose jobs were adversely impacted when salons and barbershop closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fraudulent applications listed mailing addresses with locations chosen and controlled by Campbell and his co-conspirators, the indictment alleges.

Once the fraudulent applications were approved, debit cards were then mailed to addresses under the control of Campbell and his co-conspirators. Other members of the conspiracy allegedly arranged for some of the fraudulently obtained UI benefits to be disbursed to claimants living outside of

In total, Campbell and others allegedly caused 174 fraudulent applications to be filed with EDD, resulting in 125 fraudulent claims to be paid to 116 unique claimants, causing losses of approximately $2,091,436.

If convicted of all charges, the defendants would face statutory maximum sentences of 30 years in federal prison on each of the conspiracy and mail fraud counts, and a mandatory two-year consecutive prison sentence on the aggravated identity theft counts.

This matter is being investigated by the United States Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General and the California Employment Development Department – Investigation Division, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – Special Services Unit; and the United States Secret Service.


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