SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — The San Joaquin County District Attorney is cracking down on Employment Development Department fraud.
The district attorney told FOX40 search warrants were carried out Tuesday in several parts of San Joaquin County. In the searches, along with evidence of EDD fraud being uncovered, at least 18 illegal firearms were seized.
The district attorney’s office is now working with local, state and federal agencies in order to combat EDD fraud in San Joaquin County — but with such a great force comes an even bigger challenge.
“We are outnumbered. There is a significant amount of fraud going on and it was allowed to go on, and now we’re chasing after that fraud,” said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar.
Verber Salazar told FOX40 that the task force has been tackling cases since this summer.
She would not say how many arrests have been made so far.
“And the correlation is with the fraud money accumulate other weapons, other things that can be used to harm our community,” Verber Salazar explained.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said the DA’s work is integral.
“Our DAs all across the state really have been leading the charge here. They were the first to really raise the alarm about the fraud crisis,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, D-Laguna Beach.
“The more the DAs do their work, the more we see how widespread the fraud was,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno.
Legislation is currently underway that will address the many EDD problems.
“We’ve got to close the obvious loopholes, so we need to stop sending Social Security numbers in the mail,” Petrie-Norris told FOX40.
Verber Salazar said the money stolen would have otherwise gone to help many families throughout the county who have been impacted by this pandemic.
She said her office plans to hold people accountable.
“We’re working collaboratively with these agencies in order to pursue justice and to restore some of those resources that have been stolen,” Verber Salazar said.
Verber Salazar added that the community can also do its part: Make sure to check your credit regularly and if you have been a victim of identity theft, report it right away.