A Riverside County amusing casework artisan was arrested Thursday for allegedly orrating a arrangement to alter $260,000 in abundance money and aliment stamps to at atomic a dozen of her friends, prosecutors said.
Patricia Ann Meredith, 26, of Cathedral City was actuality captivated on $250,000 bond for her declared role as artist of the fraud, agitated out in her position as an accommodation artisan for the Administration of Accessible Amusing Casework appointment in Moreno Valley. The Riverside County commune attorney’s appointment additionally appear 11 added arrests in the case.
Authorities adduce that from November 2002 to June 2003, Meredith, who had admission to the amusing casework department’s computer system, created apocryphal accounts for her friends.
“A accessible agent misappropriating accessible funds is consistently acutely distressing, but back that money is abundance money not action to the bodies who bare it best — mostly accouchement — it acutely claim a able prosecution,” said Arthur Chang, a agent commune advocate who will arraign Meredith and the added suspects.
Meredith is to be arraigned Monday in Superior Court.
She faces up to 100 years in accompaniment bastille if bedevilled of 30 counts of confiscation of accessible funds and one calculation of abundance fraud.
The added suspects face four to 32 counts of admirable theft. One accustomed added than $30,000, prosecutors said.
Chang and co-prosecutor Stephanie Weissman adduce that Meredith created the apocryphal abundance accounts, again additional the banknote aid by entering apocryphal Amusing Security numbers of non-existing children.
The accompany would again accept checks or aliment stamps in the mail or be accustomed a new ATM-like abundance card, which enables recipients to use them like banknote back purchasing goods, authorities said.
An estimated $180,000 in checks and banknote were lost, forth with $80,000 in aliment stamps, Chang said.
The enactment of the ATM-type abundance acquittal system, the Electronic Benefit Transfer, accustomed amusing casework administration board to aboriginal ascertain a case of accessible artifice in May, Chang said.
“There was a lot of abnormal action apparent on one account,” Chang said.
“Investigators looked at that account, begin they couldn’t acquisition a concrete file, as is usually done. Again they looked at the caseworker, again at all of her cases.”
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