Tracy woman pleads guilty to $2 million EDD fraud

She faces 20 years in prison for seeking to defraud EDD by $2 million from filing false claims.

A Tracy woman pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft for a fraudulent scheme to steal California unemployment benefits. 

U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert announced the guilty plea on Tuesday. 


The big picture: According to court documents, Kaymeisha Keyes, 32, defrauded the California Employment Development Department from April 2020 to August 2021. 

  • Keyes filed over 70 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims with EDD for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and other benefits under the federal CARES Act. 
  • Keyes used personal information of numerous other people – including names, birth dates and Social Security numbers – and filed fraudulent unemployment claims. 
  • The claims that she filed were for people who were not employed, however, so they were not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, and Keyes did not have the authority to file claims on their behalf. 
  • EDD approved dozens of fraudulent claims for Keyes and authorized Bank of America to mail out EDD debit cards. 
  • Overall, the scheme sought over $2 million in unemployment insurance benefits and caused EDD and the federal government to incur actual losses of over $1.1 million. 

What we’re watching: Keyes will be sentenced on May 11 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the wire fraud count. 

  • She also faces a two-year mandatory prison sentence on the aggravated identity theft count, which is required to run consecutive to any sentence received on the wire fraud count. 
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