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Ex-Aryan Brotherhood leader charged with California fraud

Claimed to have turned his life around after 45 years in prison
Employment Development Department - EDD (FILE)
Posted at 9:20 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 00:20:45-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A one-time top member of the notorious Aryan Brotherhood who claimed to have turned his life around after 45 years in prison is now charged with defrauding Northern Californians out of nearly $400,000 in unemployment benefits.

The Sacramento Bee says Michael Thompson was arrested Monday in Lake County. He and a co-defendant are accused of bilking at least 16 people last year as the state Employment Development Department was handing out money to help those whose jobs were affected by business closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

California has said EDD payouts to fraudsters have cost it about $11 billion.