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Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Ratha Yin was an inmate at Centinela California State Prison on October 16, 2020, when he and his cellmate were found to be in possession of two cell phones and two SD cards. A no no while in prison. When investigators examined the contraband electronics, they uncovered a trove of information about communications between Ratha Yin and his wife, Amanda Yin, and his friend, Steven Mavromatis. The devices also contained communications recorded with the California Employment Development Department and the Bank of America. What possibly could communications between a prisoner and a federal benefit agency entail? Fraud.

While an inmate at the California State Prison, from June 2020 to September 2021, Yin conspired with his Amanda and Mavromatis to file claims for unemployment insurance under various identities with the California Employment Development Department. Yin said he used at least 136 stolen identities to submit EDD claims. And obtained at least $2.6 million. Yin directed Mavromatis to create email addresses for the identities he obtained and then use the email addresses to submit claims online to the EDD. He also had Marvomatis rent mailboxes — including at an East Bay UPS store — so they could receive the pre-loaded debit cards with the unemployment benefits. Mavromatis then used the debit cards to withdraw the funds from ATMs.

On July 24, 2022, Ratha Yin was sentenced to an additional four and a half years of his role in the COVID-19 Unemployment fraud. In November 2022, Amanda Yin pled guilty to conspiracy to launder proceeds of fraud and Mavromatis pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The punishment isn’t exactly going to deter this trio from further criminal activities while in prison.  A judge has sentenced Amanda Yin to five years of probation — with eight months of home dentention — and Mavromatis to time six days of time served and five years of supervised release. After his prison term is up, Yin will also have to serve five years of supervised release. A hearing in October will determine how much in restitution Amanda Yin and Mavromatis will have to pay. How about all of it? And a bill for his time in prison.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “California man — already in prison — sentenced to additional time for stealing COVID funds for unemployed people” published by Bay Area News Group on July 24, 2023

A California man who was already serving time in prison has been sentenced to an additional four and a half years for his role in a scheme to defraud the state by fraudulently filing unemployment claims, officials said.

Ratha Yin, 36, was sentenced to 55 months for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, according to a news release from the United State’s Attorneys Office Northern District of California.

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