Nyika Gomez Wiki – Nyika Gomez Biography
Nyika Gomez, a former California unemployment office worker, was charged with a dozen counts of fraud and identity theft in connection to the scam.
According to the criminal complaint, Gomez was employed as a call center agent by an EDD contractor in July 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. She worked to help unemployed Californians qualify for benefits and process their insurance claims, it continued in the release.
“As alleged in the complaint, she used her training and expertise to defraud that very program in a scheme designed to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen benefits,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Wong stated in the release.
Gomez, trained in the department’s procedures and regulations, had access to confidential information surrounding the unemployment insurance program enabling her to submit fraudulent claims, he continued.
According to the press release:
The complaint said Gomez used that knowledge to submit fraudulent unemployment insurance claims using personal identifying information (PII) she acquired from California prisoners, with help from her inmate boyfriend. With his help, she was also able to purchase stolen PII from out-of-state residents, which she used to submit additional fraudulent unemployment claims.
The stolen benefits, which were paid out in the form of a debit card, were arranged by Gomez to be mailed to her house or “the residence of someone working with her,” the U.S. District of Attorney’s Office said.
She then transferred some of the money into the inmates’ prison accounts, it added.
Nyika Gomez Age
Nyika Gomez is 40 years old.
Charge and Arrested
Aformer employee of California’s unemployment insurance program has been accused of conspiring with her incarcerated boyfriend to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in pandemic aid, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Nyika Gomez of San Diego was charged in federal court on Thursday, December 17, with a dozen counts of fraud and identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of California announced. The 40-year-old conspired with her boyfriend, who is serving 94 years to life at the California State Prison for murder, to submit fraudulent pandemic unemployment insurance claims for state prisoners “whose identifying information was stolen,” the Office said.
Gomez was a contract employee with California’s Employment Development Department, which administers the state’s unemployment insurance program, according to the press release.
“Pandemic unemployment insurance programs are a critical part of our safety net designed to support hardworking citizens who are suffering during this unprecedented time,” U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said in the announcement. “Fraud related to COVID-19 is particularly disturbing as it exploits a national crisis for personal gain.”
Authorities launched an investigation into Gomez after noting several unemployment insurance benefit claims originating from her computer and listing her address as the claimant’s residence, the DOJ continued. Investigators found through a court-authorized search of Gomez’s home that she had and was using two of the debit cards issued for claims by prisoners, the release indicated.
Gomez was arrested in her home on Wednesday, December 16, and plead not guilty to the charges in San Diego federal court, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
If convicted, Gomez could face up to 20 years per count of wire fraud and a two-year mandatory-minimum per count of aggravated identity theft, according to the DOJ.
Former California Unemployment Office Worker Charged in Scheme to Steal Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Pandemic Aid https://t.co/TYAUkyqnjR This video screen-capture at an ATM shows the defendant allegedly using an EDD-issued debit card she obtained through fraud pic.twitter.com/sVRRlBKFYu
— US Attorney CAS (@SDCAnews) December 18, 2020
Investigators said they gathered surveillance video of Gomez using the fraudulent debit cards at a variety of bank ATM machines, according to the DOJ.
In the criminal complaint’s statement of facts, the agents provided a screenshot of Gomez on July 23, 2020 at am ATM withdrawing $1,000 on a card issued to a state prisoner, the DOJ press release reported.
She was seen on July 20, 2020 withdrawing $500 on an inmate’s card at an ATM drive-thru, investigators continued. The press release cited another incident on August 13, in which Gomez was recorded taking out $300.
Investigators also “obtained consensually monitored recorded calls between Gomez and her boyfriend discussing the scheme and supplying Gomez with PII of prison inmates,” Wong continued in the statement.