3 San Diegans Charged In $1.3 Million Unemployment Fraud Scheme

By Rebekah Gonzalez

April 1, 2021

Three San Diego residents are believed to have taken personal information from over 60 inmates to defraud the government, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The scheme resulted in $1.3 million being stolen from California's unemployment benefits system.

34-year-old Maereichelle Marquez was arraigned in court by video from the Las Colinas women's jail on Tuesday, March 30.

The other two individuals are 34-year-old Ryan Kubista and 61-year-old Stacy Wright.

According to KGTV, they used the personal information of at least 64 inmates to file fraudulent unemployment claims and collected more than $1.3 million in illegal payouts in 2020.

They applied for EDD Bank of America debit cards in the inmates' names and the EDD benefits mailed to their homes in Escondido or PO boxes in North County.

The group is being charged for grand theft and forgery, among other counts, reports KGTV.

They could face up to twelve years in prison if they are convicted.

Marquez has entered a not guilty plea and the DA's Office said Wright is out on bail and Kubista will likely be arraigned on Friday, April 2.

Since unemployment rates have skyrocketed during the pandemic, California has seen widespread fraud throughout the state.

Photo: Getty Images

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