Two people suspected of funneling more than $675,000 in benefits from the California Employment Development Department have been arrested in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the pair will be extradited to Los Angeles County to face trial, authorities said.
Jessica Sanchez and Charles Hutchinson were taken into custody on April 22 after investigators found they had committed EDD fraud, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release Saturday.
Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau Identity Theft investigators identified Sanchez as the primary suspect, identifying 42 victim Personal Identifying Information (PII) profiles that were linked to her, the Sheriff’s Department said.
Sanchez allegedly stole $675,000 in EDD benefits by way of ATM cash withdrawals, purchases transfers and teller cash withdrawals, according to the news release. She then used a stolen identity and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where she was later located and arrested, officials said.
Police in Knoxville also found “numerous pieces of evidence consistent with identity theft material, fraudulent debit, credit and gift cards, along with counterfeit credit cards, numerous ledgers containing personal information from additional victims were located in the home,” as well as a bag of methamphetamine, officials said.
Hutchinson, who was also an identified suspect in the investigation, was allegedly seen in numerous ATM photos making unauthorized withdrawals from fraudulently opened EDD accounts.
Both of the suspects will be extradited to California to stand trial for the Los Angeles county FCCB investigation.
FCCB Investigators believe there may be other victims of this EDD fraud and are asking anyone with questions or information to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Fraud & Cyber Crimes Bureau, Detective Trent Thurb at 818-576-8862.