31-year-old Riverside woman arrested in alleged EDD unemployment benefit scheme

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Jazmin Ugalde is seen in a photo released by the Riverside Police Department on Oct. 19, 2020.

Jazmin Ugalde is seen in a photo released by the Riverside Police Department on Oct. 19, 2020.

A Riverside woman was arrested for alleged EDD unemployment benefit fraud as she appeared in court on unrelated theft charges last week, the Riverside Police Department reported Monday.

Jazmin Ugalde was arrested Thursday at the Riverside Superior Court while appearing on an unrelated identity theft and fraud case, police said in a news release. Detectives were working on an identity theft investigation when they discovered Ugalde was using several victims’ identities to fraudulently acquire EDD unemployment benefits.

Jazmin Ugalde, 21, is seen in a photo released by the Riverside Police Department on Oct. 19, 2020.
Jazmin Ugalde is seen in a photo released by the Riverside Police Department on Oct. 19, 2020.

Detectives served a search warrant at a residence in the 4900 block of La Sierra Avenue where they believed Ugalde was staying.

During the search, investigators discovered “personal identifying information for many additional victims.” Police said it was determined these identities were also being used to obtain EDD unemployment benefits.  

“Ms. Ugalde was not present when detectives served the search warrant, but they learned she had an upcoming court date for a separate case involving theft and fraud charges,” Detective Cory Camp said in a statement. “As she arrived for her hearing, detectives placed her under arrest.” 

While being arrested, police said Ugalde was found in possession of another EDD benefits card for one of the victims in the investigation.  

Ugalde, 31, was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for several new violations of identity theft with prior convictions and unemployment insurance fraud. Police previously said she was 21.

The Police Department said California’s Employment Development Department normally investigates benefit fraud cases, however, their system has been “completely overwhelmed with the dramatic increase in cases” so local law enforcement is now investigating frauds. 

To date, there have been hundreds of incidents of EDD fraud reported in Riverside, police said. 

Anyone who believes they are a victim of EDD benefit fraud occurring in the city of Riverside is asked to report it by calling 951-354-2007. Information on various types of fraud and scams can be found on the FBI’s website at fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes.

Those with additional information regarding Ugalde’s case is asked to contact Camp by dialing at 951-353-7117 or emailing clcamp@riversideca.gov

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