In 2005, Natalie Le Demola was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the first degree murder of her mother. That same year she was eliminated from any chance of receiving the Child of The Year Awards. But the life sentence did not apparently eliminate her from committing California unemployment insurance benefits fraud. It actually motivated her. Because Demola made a cost-benefit analysis and decided that the money and influence that she stood to gain was worth the additional penalties she faced if she were caught.” (Bet she needed a supercomputer to run that analysis.)
While in prison Demola led and organized the scheme that fraudulently obtained more than $1.5 million in California unemployment insurance (UI) benefits mostly pandemic-related relief – by using other people’s identities, some of which belonged to her fellow California prison inmates. From June 2020 until April 2021, Demola and other co-conspirators acquired the personal identifiable information (PII), such as the names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, of individuals – including identity theft victims – who were not eligible for UI benefits because they were employed, retired, or incarcerated. Members of the conspiracy then used the information to make fraudulent online applications for UI benefits to the California Employment Development Department (EDD). Once the applications were approved, members of the conspiracy received EDD-funded debit cards that allowed them to withdraw money from ATMs across Southern California.
On July 10, 2023, Judge Walter ordered Demola to serve her federal prison sentence consecutive to her state prison sentence. According to court records, she will be eligible for parole from state prison in July 2026. Huh? What happened to a life sentence?
Shout out to the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force for their determination to find every fraudster. Even if they are already in jail.
Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “Woman serving life sentence for murder sentenced for running $1.5M COVID scam while behind bars” published by KTLA Los Angeles on July 10, 2023
A woman serving a life sentence for killing her mother in the early 2000s has been sentenced to seven additional years in prison after she admitted to running a fraud ring that stole more than $1.5 million from California’s unemployment insurance programs.
Natalie DeMola, 38, was serving her sentence at the California Institution for Women in Corona for killing her mother in 2001. DeMola, who was 16 at the time, conspired with her then-boyfriend and a third person to kill her mother.