Last week, Maria Magdalena Rocha, 43, of Riverside County turned herself in to authorities. She is accused of siphoning off funds from California’s dwindling government coffers between 2006 and 2010.
She has been accused of committing fraud against the state of California and its Employment Development Department, the state agency that administers unemployment and disability benefits, to the tune of almost $300,000.
Two weeks ago federal grand jury indicted Rocha on 18 counts of mail fraud and 3 counts of aggravated identity theft. Federal mail fraud punishments can include a fine, up to 20 years in prison or both. Sentencing for identity theft is complex, but could potentially include a fine, prison time or both, depending on the circumstances.
According to the indictment, Rocha supposedly stole the identities of more than 50 people – family, friends and work colleagues – and filed more than 80 state disability claims and more than 10 fraudulent unemployment claims.
Source: CBS Los Angeles, “Woman, 43, Accused Of Ripping Off State For Nearly $300K In Disability Fraud,” March 15, 2012