A government employee who was able to approve claims and make payments is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery. David Paul Holden is accused of taking more than $40,000 in kickbacks in exchange for issuing more than $500,000 in unemployment insurance checks to folks not eligible for benefits. Sentencing is scheduled for August 27; Holden faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison. From the U.S. Attorney's press release:
According to court documents, Holden worked at the EDD office in Anaheim, where he processed unemployment insurance claims and had access to EDD's electronic database for approving claims and making payments of unemployment benefits. Both personally and through a network of recruiters, Holden approached more than 50 individuals and persuaded them to provide their social security numbers and other information so that Holden could arrange for them to receive unemployment checks. These people were not qualified from receiving unemployment benefits because, for example, they were already employed, had voluntarily quit their jobs or had been terminated for misconduct. Holden then manipulated EDD's electronic database to make it appear that these people were entitled to benefits and caused EDD to issue checks to those persons. In return for the unemployment benefits, the recipients each gave the recruiters cash payments of up to $5,000, and much of the money was then passed on to Holden.