The immigrants, who entered the United States illegally, were not entitled to unemployment benefits. However, 41-year-old Francisco Garcia said as part of a plea deal Monday that he and three other defendants obtained personal identifying information and work history from the immigrants, and submitted the claims for unemployment benefits through Nevada’s unemployment benefit telephone hotline and website.
Garcia said that from about November 2007 to September 2009, he and three co-defendants, — Eloy Garcia, 33, Efrain Garcia, 41, and Nabor Garcia, 32 — fraudulently submitted at least 591 unemployment claims to the State of Nevada.
Eloy and Efrain also entered guilty pleas this week. Nabor Garcia is scheduled to enter a guilty plea next week.
The defendants submitted false notarized affidavits of identity if the State sent the claimant an affidavit due to being unable to match the claimant’s social security number to Nevada DMV records.
The State sent debit cards or checks mailed to addresses that the defendants controlled. The defendants sometimes provided the undocumented workers with a portion of the benefits, later falsely telling them that their claims had stopped paying. Other times, the defendants told applicants that their unemployment claims were not accepted, and kept all of the benefits for themselves.
The defendants are required to forfeit $4,401,548 in cash, which were proceeds from the crimes. The report says that Francisco is also required to forfeit and five houses that he acquired from the fraud, and Eloy and Efrain must forfeit one house.