SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A Tracy inmate and three others have been formally charged with filing fraudulent unemployment insurance claims using other inmates’ information and getting over $900,000 from California’s Employment Development Department.
The U.S. Department of Justice reports a federal jury returned the 16-count indictment last month and it was unsealed Wednesday.
The indictment names 47-year-old Deuel Vocational Institution inmate Kenneth Ray Hawkins; former Las Vegas resident Jacqueline Marie Marquez, 34; and Barstow residents 32-year-old Alyssa Marie Jones and 20-year-old Ebony Chanel Jones.
All four have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud after participating in a scheme to try to acquire $1.2 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, court documents say.
Hawkins is accused of using names and Social Security numbers of fellow inmates and others, as well as an unauthorized cell phone, to file the false claims from his jail cell. Once approved by the EDD, documents say dozens of Bank of America debit cards were mailed to multiple California addresses that were controlled by his co-conspirators.
Court records allege Marquez, Alyssa Jones and Ebony Jones withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from ATMs using the cards.
If they are convicted, they could each face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
Hawkins is still in prison on an unrelated conviction. Alyssa Jones and Ebony Jones have been released on bond, while Marquez is awaiting her first appearance in federal court.