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Woman arrested for alleged EDD fraud after stealing serial killer and Scott Peterson’s identities

CBS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KION-TV)- California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Wednesday that a woman was arrested for allegedly stealing over $145,000 in unemployment benefits from California’s Employment Development Department.

From 2020 to 2021, the suspect is accused of fraud using her own name and those of convicted murderers Scott Peterson and Cary Stayner, according to Bonta. She is being charged with multiple counts of felony grand theft and forgery. Cary Stayner is a convicted serial killer, known as the Yosemite Park Killer, who killed four people in 1999.

Peterson and Stayner have been incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison since 2005 and 2002, respectively. Peterson was convicted in Modesto's 2004 murders of his wife, who was pregnant.

“Don’t let the infamous names distract you from who this crime really hurt — the most vulnerable in our society,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “EDD theft hurts families in need, parents left without jobs during a pandemic, and Californians struggling to get by. That’s why I’m thankful for my agents, and for our partners in the EDD and CDCR, for their work together on this case.”

A criminal complaint says the fraud spanned from April 2020 to Sept. 2021. The suspect was employed by a private company that contracted with the prison, and through her employment, she may have gained access to prisoners’ information.

"This case sends another strong message that EDD holds identity thieves and fraudsters accountable for their crimes,” said EDD Director Nancy Farias. “We appreciate the tireless work of EDD’s investigations staff and our law enforcement partners investigating this complex case. EDD will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to hold accountable criminals who stole identities and defrauded the unemployment system."

The suspect was arrested on Oct. 15 by a team of CDCR agents in Contra Costa County and taken into custody. She was then arraigned on Oct. 19 in Sacramento County Superior Court.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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