California man pleads guilty to unemployment debit card fraud

Local News

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A 25-year-old California man pleaded guilty today to unemployment fraud charges in a scheme that collected $170,000 in benefits by submitting multiple claims in other people’s names using benefits cards that didn’t belong to him.

Keheir Jordan Parker of Victorville, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of “conspiracy to effectuate illegal transaction with an access device.”

Parker faces a maximum penalty of seven and a half years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey scheduled sentencing for September 13, 2021.

Parker and Robert Devon Barber, 25, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, were stopped in Las Vegas for a traffic violation, according to court documents. During the stop, law enforcement officers recovered 12 California unemployment debit cards in other peoples’ names, along with ATM receipts showing that the debit cards had been used to make cash withdrawals totaling $7,400 in Nevada and California.

At least $249,460 in unemployment benefits was approved for claims associated with the 12 recovered cards. About $170,000 was obtained from accounts associated with the cards, including $148,400 in ATM cash withdrawals and $22,315.78 in purchases.

Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent-in-Charge Quentin Heiden of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Los Angeles Region made the announcement.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 should please report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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