A San Bernardino woman has been arrested on suspicion of identify theft-related charges after using her four children’s identities to fraudulently obtain tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits from the state, police said Thursday.
Detectives began investigating on Dec. 29, 2020, after a man called to report an identity theft case, according to a news release from the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department.
The man explained that he had been contacted by the California Employment Development Department months earlier about two EDD accounts with his personal information. He learned one of the accounts was in his name, while the other was under his 11-year-old’s name, police said.
He later found out that EDD accounts had also been opened in the names of his three other children.
After reaching out to the bank where the money had been deposited, the man “obtained information on recent purchases in San Bernardino, Fontana, Diamond Bar and Rancho Cucamonga and several ATM withdrawals totaling over $17,000,” the release stated.
The man suspected the accounts had been opened by the children’s estranged mother, 31-year-old Ashley Kelly, and alerted investigators. They in turn discovered that the mother of four had used the names, dates of birth and social security numbers of her kids to fraudulently obtain $56,000 in benefits from the state’s employment agency, according to police.
Kelly was arrested in Riverside on suspicion of theft, perjury and using another’s identity to obtain credit, the release stated.
She was booked on suspicion of identity theft-related charges as well as an outstanding warrant for petty theft. Her bail was set at $100,000.
A booking photo was not released, and police did not provide any further details about the case.