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EDD Fraud: 3 Inland Empire Women Plead Guilty After Collectively Receiving $1.3 Million In Unemployment Benefits

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Three Inland Empire-area women pleaded guilty this week to charges in connection with filing fraudulent EDD claims using the names of California prison inmates.

Paris Thomas, 33, of San Bernardino; 42-year-old Mireya Ramos of Colton; and 35-year-old Sequoia Edwards of Moreno Valley, were all arrested in April on suspicion of filing dozens of fraudulent EDD claims in the names of inmates within the California state prison system.

According to her plea agreement, between June and December 2020, Thomas submitted at least 47 fraudulent unemployment benefits claims and received about $477,000 from the California EDD. Edwards admitted in her plea agreement that between July and August 2020, she submitted at least 27 bogus EDD claims and received $456,218. Ramos owned up to submitting approximately 37 false claims to EDD between June and December 2020, receiving $353,532, according to the Department of Justice.

Each woman pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud – Thomas on Monday, and Edwards and Ramos last Friday. Ramos is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 27, while Thomas' sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13. Edwards' sentencing hearing will be scheduled by U.S. District Judge John W. Holcomb at a later date.

Each woman face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.

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