Madison Hirneisen | The Center Square
(The Center Square) - Sacramento, California, law enforcement officials announced Tuesday the arrest of the person responsible for the largest Employment Development Department fraud scheme ever in Sacramento County, which totaled more than $2.75 million.
Police arrested 35-year-old Jamie Williams-Major earlier this month on 166 charges related to EDD fraud, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday. Williams-Major is accused of filing 166 fraudulent EDD claims totaling over $2.75 million by using the names of state prison inmates and victims of identity fraud.
Williams-Major was arrested alongside six others who were state and local inmates in April 2021 for what the EDD previously thought was a $250,000 fraud scheme. But after obtaining a warrant and searching the contents of Williams-Major's cell phone, law enforcement discovered "the fraud was 10 times bigger than first expected," the district attorney's office said Tuesday.
Williams-Major was arrested in Las Vegas and transported to Sacramento. Her arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday.
In total, officials estimate the EDD paid out at least $20 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims throughout the pandemic. Upon Williams-Major's arrest in April, District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said her case was "another example of what has become one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises in California's history, EDD fraud."