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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 20, 2020

Former Edd Employee Sentenced To Over Six Years Imprisonment For Unemployment Benefits Fraud

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Pamela Emanuel, 58, of San Jose, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. to 6 years and 3 months in prison and ordered to pay $773,733 in restitution for her role in scheme to defraud the State of California by filing false unemployment insurance claims, United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

“Pamela Emanuel conspired to file fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, diverting vital taxpayer resources away from those in dire need of unemployment benefits. Protecting the integrity of the unemployment insurance program remains one of our highest priorities, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard the unemployment benefits for those who need it, especially during this critical time,” said Quentin Heiden, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor. Office of Inspector General, Los Angeles Region.

According to court documents, between July 22, 2015, and July 14, 2016, Emanuel and her co-conspirators engaged in a scheme to defraud the state of California. Emanuel worked as a tax compliance representative for the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and used her position to access the personal identifying information of workers throughout California. The conspirators used that information to file fraudulent unemployment claims in the names of the unknowing victims. In total, the conspirators filed at least 269 false claims seeking over $2.4 million in fraudulent benefits. EDD’s actual overpayment was approximately $887,199.

Emanuel was the fifth co-conspirator to be sentenced for their participation in this scheme. On August 16, 2018, Brittany Maunakea, 30, was sentenced to two and a half years in prison and ordered to pay approximately $139,000 in restitution. On Sept. 20, 2018, Sergio Doriante Sanchez Reyna, 26, was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $436,000 in restitution. On Feb. 22, 2019, Gregory Lee, 57, of Antioch was sentenced to 9 years in prison and ordered to pay approximately $353,000 in restitution. On Sept. 19, 2019, Russell White III, 38, of San Jose, was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $212,000 in restitution.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Employment Development Department, Investigations Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Schuller Hitchcock is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Press Release Number: 
2:17-CR-060-MCE
Updated March 20, 2020