March 31, 2017 2:10pm
• LA man sent jobless benefits claims for himself and many others
• Seventh conviction from the scheme
According to court documents, between March 2008 and February 2011, Mr. Naope and others involved in the scheme registered fictitious employers, such as “Peco Media,” “Sona Entertainment,” and “Money Alley,” with the EDD and then recruited other individuals to pose as laid-off employees of those companies. These fake employees would then file for and collect unemployment insurance benefits based on the wages reported to EDD by the fictitious employers.
The total amount of unemployment benefit checks cashed as a result of this scheme was at least $2.5 million.
Mr. Naope is the seventh individual to be convicted for participating in the scheme, which was charged across three separate cases:
• Andre Walters of Long Beach was convicted following a jury trial in August 2016 and is to be sentenced on May 4.
• Kenneth Parks of Pomona and Long Beach was sentenced to five years in prison.
• Donye Marcell Mitchell Sr., of Los Angeles, was sentenced to four years in prison.
• Gregory Bart Martin of Lakewood was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
• Michael Ray Taylor Sr., of Fontana, was sentenced to three years in prison, and
• Michael Ray Taylor Jr., of El Monte, is to be sentenced on May 11.
Mr. Naope is to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. on June 16, when he will face a possible maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.