Multiple households in Manteca were raided on Tuesday morning by investigators from a multijurisdictional team aimed at stamping out unemployment fraud in San Joaquin County.
According to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s office, the investigation began after fraud was uncovered by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department which jumpstarted the effort that culminated with multiple search warrants being served on Tuesday.
The team that served the warrants in multiple locations – including two in Manteca – included representatives from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office and the Manteca and Stockton Police Departments, investigators from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and fraud investigators from the California Employment Development Department.
The raids on Tuesday turned up an abundance of additional evidence of fraud as well as 18 illegal firearms that were seized by authorities.
As the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt throughout the county, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar has made it a priority to catch those taking advantage of a system meant to help those when they need it most.
“The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations has been working to stop unemployment fraud,” Verber Salazar said. “EDD is a resource available to help many who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
“In San Joaquin County, organized crime will not be allowed to steal these resources.”
Last month a national story broke that as many as 21,000 inmates in California’s prison system generated more than $400 million worth of unemployment checks that went initially undetected – believed to be doled to prisoners who requested the funds and to fraudsters who used the identities of prisoners without their knowledge.
As news of the massive fraud broke as thousands of Californians who has lost their job due to the pandemic were still awaiting the processing of their unemployment benefits – a development that generated a massive outcry and calls for widespread reform to the system that was flush with federal cash as part of a pandemic assistance program aimed at getting people through the difficult period.
Verber Salazar’s office called the ongoing EDD fraud investigation “complex” and no further details about potential targets or the were released to the media.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.