An Orange County man who worked for the California Employment Development Department was sentenced to 76 months, or more than six years in prison for his part in a fraud scheme that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state of California. David Paul Holden, who is 31 years old, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy and bribery back in May of this year for accepting bribes as part of a scheme that involved as many as 50 other people and netted him up to $40,000. As part of the scheme, Holden, who worked for the Employment Development Department, accepted Social Security information from people that were recruited into the massive fraud and issued bogus unemployment insurance checks to ineligible workers. The Employment Department paid up to $500,000 to various fraudulent claims. According to reports, six other people involved in the fraud have already pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from the scheme. Holden has also been ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution to the Employment Development Department.
According to federal prosecutors, while Holden orchestrated the crime, other people recruited ineligible workers into the scheme while Holden was given kickbacks. Holden and two others were first arrested in connection to the scheme in early February and initially charged with a combined 31 counts of criminal activity. By pleading guilty to just two charges, it would appear that Holden may have made a deal with prosecutors in the case in exchange for a shorter prison term.
Federal crimes such as conspiracy and bribery of this magnitude are nothing to be taken lightly. Fraud crimes come in many different forms including mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, corporate fraud and even healthcare and mortgage fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (or FBI), defines fraud in all its many forms as simply deliberate deception with unlawful gain as the goal. Conspiracy meanwhile tends to point to the concerted action of two or more people to commit illegal acts. In many cases, the goal of a conspiracy is not necessarily financial gain. People can and do conspire to commit various crimes every day such as withholding evidence, or, as in Holden's case, coming together in an organized fashion to steal money that did not belong to them in the first place. Crimes like conspiracy and bribery (whether accepting bribes or bribing another person) are often federal crimes that can land you in jail or, more likely, federal prison for a very long time.
Categorised in: Federal Crimes