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Description: San Diego, California criminal law lawyer represented Defendant charged with
fraudulently obtaining benefits related to coronavirus pandemic
As early as July and August of 2020, Cotton submitted at least sixteen fraudulent applications for unemployment using other people’s names, dates of birth, and social security numbers. Cotton used a relative’s address to submit the fraudulent applications. Once Cotton received the debit cards in the mail from EDD, he used the debit cards to purchase postal money orders and to purchase luxury items such as Gucci backpacks. Cotton admitted that his criminal conduct caused a loss of $312,640 and that he submitted additional fraudulent applications for benefits in other states such as Arizona, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Law enforcement seized $112,539 in currency and money orders from Cotton during the investigation and he agreed to forfeit that money as proceeds of his fraud.
Outcome: Darris Cotton was sentenced to 4 years and 9 months in prison.