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Three Charged in $2 Million Unemployment Fraud Scheme

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California charged three California residents for their roles in a conspiracy to file fraudulent COVID-19 unemployment benefit claims using stolen information purchased on the dark web.

Court documents disclosed that Ratha Yin, 34, his wife Amanda Yin, 31, and their accomplice, Stephen Mavromatis, 26, fraudulently obtained up to $2 million from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

The trio’s scheme was discovered on October 16, 2020, when prison guards at Centinela State Prison found Yin and his cellmate in possession of two cell phones and two SD cards. Evidence recovered from the phones allegedly showed that Yin had been in constant communication with his wife and Mavromatis. They also established that he had been contacting the California Employment Development Department and the Bank of America.

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Further investigations revealed that Yin used the phones to communicate with Mavromatis and plan on how they would file fraudulent unemployment claims. They allegedly purchased personally-identifying information for hundreds of victims on the darkweb and created email accounts for every victim. They then filed unemployment claims using the PII and the newly-created email addresses.

The duo would then instruct the EDD to mail the loaded debit cards to a post office box controlled by Mavromatis. Mavromatis allegedly withdrew at least 1.9 million from debit cards received from 91 fraudulently filed claims.

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Amanda Yin would then collect funds from Mavromatis and deposit the funds into her accounts and an account she jointly held with Yin. She also purchased a $71,000 Audi and placed a down payment for her home with some of the funds.

The investigation resulted in the arrest of Amanda Yin and Mavromatis on September 21, 2021. All three defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. If found guilty, they could be sentenced to a maximum sentence of 20 years of prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation also revealed that Ratha Yin had participated in a similar scheme with other accomplices and obtained an additional $132,000 from the scheme.

4 Comments
captainOBVIOUS
d18db7b0 Sun, Sep 26, 2021

what could go wrong? :D

Karma
f231aa50 Mon, Sep 27, 2021

Almost year ago ("trio’s scheme was discovered on October 16, 2020") and now they get arrested? What prompted the search - was it random, or did her sudden windfall go unnoticed by friends, family, the law? I bet someone raised a eyebrow at her sudden wealth, especially if she also flaunted a credit card or more as well. What appearance and spending habits did she have prior to the landslide of coin? Banks are able to raise flags when a clients account goes way out of the norm over a short time. A lot of money going in and a lot going out.

Jonez
2c988ee0 Mon, Oct 4, 2021

Ya, seems like they got caught beccause they got complacent. the WIFE forgot that it was DIRTY MONEY she was depositing in her personal account... these ppl are A different breed: smart enough to defraud millions, but too stupid to cover their tracks...

blmlover
10c54880 Thu, Sep 30, 2021

BLM lets goooo

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