ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Detectives say an operation that started with a traffic stop in Roseville last year eventually took down a suspected EDD fraud ring with 200 known victims.
News about the alleged fraud makes Omar Clarke think about the unemployed people he knows struggling to make ends meet.READ MORE: Man Suspected Of 2017 Lodi Shooting Arrested In Tulare County
“It’s hard for them to get anything out of the system,” he said. “Some of them have to go to food banks.”
Back in November 2020, Roseville police officers pulled over a pair of suspects near Highway 65 and Pleasant Grove Boulevard. Police didn’t disclose what prompted the traffic stop, but the investigation into the pair resulted in around $11,000 in cash, $90,000 worth of jewelry, drugs packed for sales, and a loaded .40-caliber handgun being seized.
The pair — 41-year-old Bruce Anderson and 28-year-old Candice Carty, both Suisun City residents — were arrested, but they eventually bailed out. Two children were also taken into protective custody.
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Come December 2020, four locations in Suisun City, Fairfield, and Hayward were served search warrants as the investigation into the pair continued. Over $400,000 in cash and property was seized in those searches, police say.
Evidence of a large-scale EDD fraud network involving at least 200 victims was also uncovered in the searches, detectives say.
“It has required the allocation of resources that were going to be dedicated elsewhere we have one full-time prosecutor assigned to EDD fraud we have a full-time investigator assigned to EDD fraud there is that much volume,” said Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire.
Further, detectives also uncovered evidence of a suspected human trafficking ring. Detectives have since identified Anderson as the alleged head of a criminal drug trafficking, human trafficking, credit card fraud, and EDD fraud organization.
In total, detectives say the criminal organization is suspected of successfully applying for $4.5 million in unemployment – with them withdrawing $2,382,492 of that using the fraudulently obtained benefits cards.
Warrants have now been issued for Anderson and four others in connection to the operation. While one suspect, 25-year-old Santa Cruz resident Emily Hill, has been arrested, the other three remain on the run: Anderson, 32-year-old Suisun City resident Alicia Alexis, 31-year-old Valley resident Sean Gray, and 28-year-old Fairfield resident Robert Adams.MORE NEWS: Insurance Shopping Company Ranks Rancho Cordova With Highest Rate Of ‘Rude’ Drivers; City Criticizes Data
“I can’t recall a time where we have had this many different elements of sort of criminal activity surrounding this large scale of fraud,” Gire said.