IE residents accused of using inmate's identity to receive over $18,000 in unemployment benefits

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Friday, February 5, 2021
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How did California handle its unemployment crisis compared to other states? The amount of unemployment funds stolen from California taxpayers in 2020 may total more than $8 billion -- four times higher than estimated just one month ago.

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- A Moreno Valley man and woman accused of defrauding the state out of thousands of dollars in unemployment insurance are facing charges stemming from an investigation involving inmates filing for those benefits while in custody, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Blake Fallon and Jessica Kay were arrested on Jan. 28 at a home in the 8000 block of Pigeon Pass Road, according to a press release from the Riverside County District Attorney's office.

Both are facing one felony count of conspiracy to commit unemployment insurance fraud. Fallon is also expected to be charged with additional felony counts of perjury and unemployment insurance fraud.

In December of last year, the district attorney's office opened an investigation into EDD fraud committed by inmates who were in custody in various Riverside County jails when their online applications were submitted, including Brian Jay Davidson.

The investigation revealed that Fallon and Kay, who are friends with Davidson, allegedly obtained his personal information and then submitted the fraudulent EDD application in his name, receiving more than $18,000 from the state of California, prosecutors said.

RELATED:California unemployment fraud 4 times worse than first reported; $8 billion paid to criminals

Davidson is also facing one felony count of conspiracy to commit unemployment insurance fraud.

Evidence related to the case and an undisclosed amount of cash were seized at the Moreno Valley home, according to authorities.

"What is particularly offensive about these crimes is that these criminals are stealing much-needed benefits from people experiencing extreme economic hardship because of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns," District Attorney Mike Hestrin said in a statement. "We, as state and local government officials, have to cooperate with one another to make sure this never happens again."

Officials estimate that the statewide losses from such unemployment fraud is in the billions of dollars and could be double-digit billions.

EXCLUSIVE: Insiders say California EDD unemployment benefit scam was get-rich-quick scheme

The above video is from a previous report.