Parole Officer Ironwood State Prison Inmate Charged With EDD Fraud Program Over $ 500,000 – CBS Los Angeles
RIVER EDGE (CBSLA) –A parolee and current inmate at Ironwood State Prison were charged this week in a scheme that defrauded California EDD of more than $ 500,000.
Charges against Brandon Christopher Avery, 28, and Donald Marshawn Peer, 27, who are currently in Ironwood State Prison for unrelated offenses, are part of an ongoing investigation by the prosecutor’s office County of Riverside on EDD fraud committed by inmates. in prisons and county jails.
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Prosecutors said they understood the ploy when the investigation identified inmates at Ironwood State Prison whose jobless claims were sent from the same IP address.
The investigation led to Peer, who called Avery, a former inmate of Ironwood State Prison who was released in May of last year, according to the prosecutor’s office. It was found that Avery had deposited more than $ 1,500 to several inmates, sometimes using their EDD benefit debit cards, prosecutors said.
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Peer was overheard on taped phone calls giving the personal information of several inmates so Avery could file fraudulent EDD requests, and Avery explaining how much he would pay Peer for each person whose EDD request was approved, the people said. prosecutors. During phone calls, investigators said Peer gave Avery the personal information of 19 people, including inmates, whose total benefits paid $ 178,544.
Avery’s cell phone was seized in October last year for a breach of his community surveillance after his release, allowing investigators to find the personal information of 33 other people, prosecutors said. Investigators say they have also found text messages sent to other people, asking them to use their addresses to receive EDD mail and offering payment for each card that arrives at that address.
The total amount of EDD benefits paid to inmates and others found on Avery’s cell phone was $ 518,030, Riverside County District Attorney officials said.
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Avery pleaded not guilty on Monday and is expected to appear in court on November 3. Peer, who remains in jail, faces 16 crimes in the case and will be transported for arraignment in the coming weeks, prosecutors say. noted.