Ex-EDD employee previously convicted of benefits fraud to plead guilty in COVID relief scam

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A Perris woman who previously served time for defrauding the California Employment Development Department while working for the state agency will admit to her role in another scheme that netted more than $1.6 million in pandemic relief funds, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Gabriela Llerenas, aka “Maria G. Sandoval,” 49, will plead guilty to one count of mail fraud under an agreement with prosecutors filed Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said in a news release.

Llerenas formerly worked at the state EDD handling disability insurance claims, but she resigned in March 2002 after admitting to authorizing and paying out bogus disability benefits. She was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison in that case, prosecutors said.

In the latest scam, Llerenas is accused of being involved in the filing of almost 200 fake claims for coronavirus-related jobless aid.

Llerenas allegedly exploited expanded eligibility for…

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