California Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently obtaining Unemployment Benefits

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – A California man pleaded guilty today to fraudulently obtaining over $170,000 in unemployment benefits by submitting multiple unemployment claims in other people’s names and using benefits debit cards not belonging to him.

According to court documents and admissions made in court, on September 11, 2020, Keheir Jordan Parker (25, of Victorville, Calif.) and co-conspirator Robert Devon Barber (25, of Lawrenceville, Georgia) were stopped in Las Vegas for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, law enforcement officers recovered 12 California Employment Development Department (EDD) unemployment insurance benefits debit cards issued in other peoples’ names, along with ATM receipts showing that the debit cards had been used to make cash withdrawals totaling $7,400 in Nevada and California.

At least $249,460 in unemployment benefits was approved for claims associated with the 12 recovered EDD cards. Approximately $170,715.78 was obtained from accounts associated with those 12 cards, including $148,400 in ATM cash withdrawals and $22,315.78 in purchases.

Parker pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to effectuate illegal transaction with an access device. He faces a statutory maximum penalty of seven and a half years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey scheduled sentencing for September 13, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent-in-Charge Quentin Heiden of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), Los Angeles Region made the announcement.

This case was investigated by DOL-OIG. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Fang is prosecuting the case.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 should please report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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