Former California EDD Employee Sentenced for Disability Benefits Fraud and Identity Theft
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Katherine Decker, 49, of Fresno, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to three years and seven months in prison for a disability benefits fraud and identity theft scheme, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, between June 14, 2013, and May 1, 2017, Decker and co‑defendant Angela Stubblefield, 49, of Tacoma, Washington, formerly of Martinez, participated in a scheme to defraud the State of California by filing fraudulent claims for disability insurance benefits with the California Employment Development Department (EDD). In furtherance of the scheme, Decker and Stubblefield used Decker’s position as an employee with the EDD to file fraudulent claims for disability benefits and to fraudulently extend existing disability claims, using the names and identities of real persons with and without their knowledge. In total, the conspiracy resulted in 15 fraudulent disability claims, resulting in a loss to the EDD of approximately $373,566.
This case is the product of an investigation by EDD’s Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shea J. Kenny and Amy S. Hitchcock are prosecuting the case.
On Feb. 10, Decker and Stubblefield pleaded guilty to the fraud scheme. Stubblefield is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Mueller on Nov. 9. A hearing to determine the restitution amount is also scheduled for Nov. 9.