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Press Release

Kern County Resident Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Role in Disability Benefits Fraud Scheme and Money Laundering

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Javier Jimenez Alvarez, 52, of Arvin, was sentenced today to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $3,397,775 in restitution for one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to launder money, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between March 31, 2010, and March 11, 2015, Jimenez Alvarez and others submitted claims to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) seeking disability benefits for other individuals who were not entitled to disability benefits. After submitting the false claims, Jimenez Alvarez and others would receive debit cards loaded with disability benefits and withdrew those benefits from the accounts for cash. As part of this fraud, Jimenez Alvarez and others would also respond to EDD requests for supplemental information, causing EDD to provide additional benefits to the debit cards. Additionally, Jimenez Alvarez knowingly and intentionally attempted to conceal these transactions and convert all of the stolen funds into cash.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the California Employment Development Department, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandre Dempsey prosecuted the case.

Updated January 31, 2024

Financial Fraud