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Placer County DA wraps up first of multiple EDD fraud cases with two convictions

Fernando Alvarado and Kevyn Arquieta were convicted after receiving roughly $23,000 total from fraudulent unemployment claims.

PLACER COUNTY, Calif. — The first of several unemployment benefits fraud cases in Placer County was wrapped up with two convictions, the county's district attorney's office said in a Facebook post on Monday.

Fernando Alvarado, 41 and Kevyn Arquieta, 25, were each convicted of unemployment insurance fraud. The Placer County District Attorney's Office said both defendants were in custody in the Placer County Jail for other, undisclosed felony offenses when they filed the false unemployment claims with the state's Employment Development Department [EDD].

According to the district attorney, Alvarado applied for and received about $4,000 in unemployment benefits. Alvarado then helped Arquieta apply for EDD benefits and Arquieta received about $19,000 in unemployment benefits. 

Deputy District Attorney James Deslaurier prosecuted the case and in the statement said, "these inmates defrauded the unemployment system at a time when honest, job seeking Californians seeking relief from the pandemic needed those funds the most. It is an outrageous violation of the public trust."

The case is the first of what the district attorney's office says are "several instances of fraud" in the county involving COVID-19 unemployment benefits.

Alvarado and Arquieta have been ordered to pay restitution to the EDD. At the same time, both were sentenced to prison on top of other sentences for the felonies for which the two were previously in custody when they filed the fraudulent claims.

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