In a recent development, Ratha Yin, a 36-year-old California man who was already serving time in prison, has been handed an additional four and a half years behind bars for his role in a fraudulent unemployment claims scheme.
The sentencing came as a consequence of his involvement in defrauding the state by filing false unemployment claims, as per the United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of California.
According to court records, Yin, while incarcerated at the California State Prison, Centinela, in Imperial, conspired with others, including his wife Amanda Yin and 28-year-old Steven Mavromatis from San Leandro, to unlawfully file claims for unemployment insurance under various identities through the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
These claims were made under the guise of the federal CARES Act, which aimed to provide financial assistance to those who lost their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of his plea agreement, Yin admitted to using at least 136 different people’s identities to submit fraudulent EDD claims, resulting in illicit gains of at least $2.6 million. He enlisted Mavromatis to create email addresses for these false identities and then proceeded to use these addresses to submit claims online to the EDD.
The tweet below verifies the news:
California man — already in prison — sentenced to additional time for stealing COVID funds for unemployed people https://t.co/3nkxnDrluu
— East Bay Times (@EastBayTimes) July 22, 2023
Additionally, Yin had Mavromatis rent mailboxes, including one at an East Bay UPS store, to receive pre-loaded debit cards containing the fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits. Mavromatis, along with four others, then utilized these debit cards to withdraw funds from various ATMs.
Both Amanda Yin and Mavromatis have already entered guilty pleas for their involvement in the scheme. Amanda Yin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder proceeds of fraud, resulting in a sentence of five years of probation with eight months of home detention.
Mavromatis, on the other hand, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, leading to six days of time served and five years of supervised release.
Following his additional prison term, Ratha Yin will also be subject to five years of supervised release. A hearing scheduled for October will determine the restitution amount that Amanda Yin and Mavromatis will be required to pay.
This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of safeguarding government assistance programs and prosecuting those who seek to exploit them for personal gain. The authorities continue to be vigilant in their efforts to uphold the integrity of such crucial relief initiatives.
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