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Convicted killer charged with heading COVID-19 fraud scam

Prison, Jail (FILE)
Posted at 11:33 AM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 14:33:22-04

LOS ANGELES (AP)  — Federal prosecutors say a woman who's serving a life sentence for murder in California is charged with masterminding a $2 million fraud scheme involving COVID-19 unemployment money.

The Justice Department on Tuesday said Natalie Le Demola is among 13 people charged with using stolen identities to apply for and receive benefits from the California Employment Development Department.

Most of the money had been earmarked for relief for people suffering from business lockdowns and restrictions aimed at reducing the deadly spread of COVID-19 in 2020.

Prosecutors say some of the identities were those of people who weren’t eligible for state unemployment insurance benefits because they were working, retired or in prison.