• Tue. Sep 26th, 2023


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Woman Led Unemployment Fraud Ring From Prison, Prosecutors Say

Kim DeMola died a week after the beating, according to a report filed by a federal magistrate judge in 2015.

In April 2005, a Riverside County Superior Court jury convicted Ms. DeMola and Mr. Bell of first-degree murder. They were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in July 2005, the judge’s report said. Ms. DeMola could not be reached for comment.

The other defendants in the unemployment fraud scheme are still being sought, the authorities said. It is not clear if the prison official will also face charges.

The investigation into the unemployment scheme was conducted by several federal, state and local agencies, including the Los Angeles El Camino Real Financial Crimes Task Force, which is led by Homeland Security Investigations and investigates financial crimes in Southern California.

Investigators searched the prison official’s records after receiving a tip and found that the worker had accessed information belonging to hundreds of incarcerated women, 42 incarcerated men and their approved visitors, according to an affidavit. More than 250 of those names were used to apply for unemployment benefits, the court papers said.

In September 2020, two of the defendants — Khanshanda King, 31, and Cleshay Johnson II, 28 — were arrested during a traffic stop in Inglewood, Calif., with evidence related to the scheme, including A.T.M. receipts tied to unemployment benefits accounts, according to an affidavit. The police also found a ledger in their car listing 98 profiles of people whose personal information was used to apply for unemployment benefits.

One of the people named in the ledger was an 83-year-old man who had never lived in California and told investigators that he did not know the people who had used his identity to claim benefits, the court papers said. Another man, who had been in prison for 15 years, told investigators that he was not familiar with unemployment benefits and did not know the people who had opened a benefits card in his name.