A man from Pasadena was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Thursday for using dozens of fraudulently obtained Employment Development Department (EDD) cards to fraudulently withdraw nearly $1 million in cash and for possessing methamphetamine and ammunition. 

Robert Sloan Mateer, 32, was also ordered to pay $937,173 in restitution. He pleaded guilty to one count of use of unauthorized access devices, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition in November 2022. 

Mateer, whose criminal history includes a felony conviction for taking a vehicle without consent, was pulled over for a traffic violation in Pasadena with 36-year-old Los Angeles native and co-conspirator Sarah Taylor Brown on Oct. 1, 2020.  

Authorities searched Mateer’s Maserati SUV and found approximately 85 grams of methamphetamine, two cell phones with debit and credit cards in names belonging to persons other than Mateer and Brown, a pistol with no serial number loaded with two rounds of ammunition and an additional round of ammunition in the driver’s side pocket, according to a release from the U.S. Justice Department. 

In addition, police found 17 EDD cards in the names of third parties, five credit and debit cards in other people’s names and approximately $197,711 in cash. 

Mateer later admitted in his plea agreement that he fraudulently obtained EDD debit cards by applying for unemployment insurance benefits using another individual’s personal identifying information on the EDD website, the DOJ said. 

“On the website, Mateer would direct the EDD debit card be sent to an address that did not belong to the individual whose identity he was using,” the Department of Justice said in a statement. “Mateer, Brown and other co-conspirators then would retrieve the debit cards from the Mateer-designated address and use the cards at ATMs to withdraw cash benefits.” 

Brown pleaded guilty to one count of use of unauthorized access devices in December 2022. She was sentenced to time served after she had served nearly 20 months, to be followed by three years of supervised release. She was ordered to pay $54,740 in restitution. 

The scheme caused the EDD program to lose over $936,000. Mateer’s Maserati and the $197,000 in cash found inside were forfeited to the U.S. Government.