Inmates Charged In $1.2 Mil EDD Fraud Scheme


This morning, authorities have leveled charges in one of the biggest fraud cases yet at the employment development department.

Four people have been indicted for allegedly stealing more than one million dollars in unemployment benefits. Between June of 2020 and January of 2021 Kenneth Ray Hawkins and 3-women filed claims, obtained debit cards and drained ATM machines of $900,000 in cash. According to CBS, Hawkins collected personal identity information, including Social Security numbers, of prison inmates and other individuals, using the information to file fraudulent EDD claims from his jail cell using an unauthorized cellphone.

Each of the four faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the 16 counts if convicted.