The EDD Actively Prosecutes Fraud

The Employment Development Department (EDD) administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI), Disability Insurance (DI), Paid Family Leave (PFL), and Employment Tax programs for the State of California. To support these programs and the payment of benefits, the EDD collects the associated employment payroll taxes.

At the EDD, we are dedicated to detecting, deterring, and preventing any occurrence of fraud in these programs. We use a variety of cutting-edge methods to detect fraudulent activity. We pursue cases involving the fraudulent receipt of benefit payments or evasion of payroll tax reporting obligations and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

The EDD provides fraud deterrence outreach and education to assist claimants, employers, and their representatives so they understand the serious consequences of committing fraud.

For more information about fraud and how to report it, visit Fraud and Penalties: What You Need to Know and Ask EDD: Report Fraud.

Recent Fraud Convictions

Previous Year Fraud Convictions: 2018 | 2017

Here are current year fraud convictions detected by the EDD and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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July 2019

07/15/19 Employment Tax Fraud Conviction
  • County: Alameda
  • Court Case Number: 17-CR-021995
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $171,337
  • Employer: Carlos Salazar Veliz DBA City Construction Solutions
  • Plea: Carlos Salazar Veliz pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count each of the following:
    • Section 2108 of the Unemployment Insurance Code for payroll tax fraud.
    • Section 3700.5 of the Labor Code for Workers’ Compensation Insurance fraud.
    • Section 510 of the Labor Code for failure to pay overtime compensation.
  • Sentencing: The sentencing is scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The employer operated a construction company. Investigation revealed the employer intentionally failed to report all employee wages to the EDD, failed to obtain workers compensation insurance, and failed to pay overtime compensation to employees.
07/10/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Conviction and Sentencing
  • County: San Bernardino
  • Court Case Number: FWV18004209
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $11,700
  • Claimant: Steven Otis Rollins
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded no contest to one felony count for violation of section 487(a) of the Penal Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant was ordered to pay full restitution and sentenced to three years of formal probation.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant failed to report his work and earnings while collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits.

June 2019

06/28/19 Employment Tax Fraud Sentencing
  • County: El Dorado
  • Court Case Number: P18CRF0140-1
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $57,125
  • Employer: Jeremy Mills, owner/corporate officer, South Sacramento Wellness Collective Inc. DBA Highlands Health and Wellness.
  • Sentencing: Jeremy Mills was convicted as follows:
    • One felony count each of sections 2108, 2110.3, 2117.5, and 2118.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code for payroll tax fraud.
    • Two felony counts of section 7153.5 of the Revenue and Taxation Code for sales tax evasion.
    • One misdemeanor count of section 3700.5 of the Labor Code for Workers’ Compensation Insurance fraud.
  • Sentencing: Mills was sentenced as follows:
    • 180 days in county jail.
    • Four years of formal probation.
    • Ordered to pay a court fine of $49,700.
    • Ordered to pay $57,125 restitution to the EDD, plus 10% per annum from the date of loss.
    • Ordered to pay $153,126 restitution to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), plus 10% per annum from the date of loss.
    • Restitution is to be paid directly to the victims. If restitution is paid in full after completing 12 months of successful probation, but before termination of probation, the felony charges may be reduced to misdemeanors and the remaining probation will be converted to summary court probation.
    • Mills was also ordered not to operate, manage, own, or control any business in California without first obtaining all licenses and full insurance required for that business.
  • Summary of Incident: The employer operated a cannabis dispensary. Investigation revealed the employer failed to report employee wages to the EDD and to the insurance carriers and underreported sales tax to the CDTFA.
06/26/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Conviction
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: BA473778
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $124,505
  • Claimant: Evia Anderson
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded nolo contendere to one felony count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code
  • Sentence: Sentence is scheduled on a future date. If the claimant has paid the court ordered restitution amount in full and has completed 60 days of community service, the felony charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor. Otherwise, she will be sent to jail for one year and serve three years of formal probation in addition to the full restitution still to be paid.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant failed to report her work and earnings while collecting Disability Insurance benefits from six claims.
06/25/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • County: Eastern District of California
  • Court Case Number: 2:18-CR-058-JAM
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $485,685
  • Claimant: John Michael Herron
  • Conviction: On 03/26/19 the claimant pleaded guilty to one count each of United States Code, Title 18, section 1341 mail fraud and section 1028A aggravated identity theft.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to six years and three months in prison. A restitution order is pending on an unspecified date.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant reported wages as a fictitious employer using the name and social security numbers from stolen identities in conspiracy with another person to commit mail fraud and identity theft. The claimant then filed false Unemployment Insurance claims to obtain benefits. Charges are still pending on the co-defendant. This case is a mutual investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the EDD.
  • Media Release: The Office of the United States Attorney, Eastern District of California issued a media release on 6/25/19 describing the sentence. https://www.justice.gov/usao-edca/pr/stockton-man-sentenced-over-6-years-prison-unemployment-benefits-fraud-and-identity
06/24/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Conviction
  • County: Santa Clara County
  • Court Case Number: C1888563
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $12,521
  • Claimant: Alejandro Sanchez
  • Conviction: On 03/16/18 the claimant pleaded no contest to one felony count each for violation of section 2101 of the Unemployment Insurance Code and section 1871.4(a) of the Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: Sentence is scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant used an assumed name and social security number to work and earn wages while collecting Disability Insurance benefits.
06/20/19 Employment Tax Fraud Sentencing
  • County: Kern
  • Court Case Number: BF168920A
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $63,269 
  • Employer: Gerardo Paulin DBA Paulin Industries DBA RM Industries
  • Conviction: On 02/13/19 the employer pleaded nolo contendere to one felony count for violation of section 11880 of the Insurance Code. No EDD charges were filed based on acceptance of a plea bargain that required the defendant to pay restitution for the EDD violations. If the plea bargain was not accepted, the EDD charges were to be added.
  • Sentence: The employer was sentenced to five years formal probation and ordered to pay a total of $198,363 to the State Compensation Insurance Fund. The probation department assessed the amount of $63,269 to be paid to the EDD.
  • Summary of Incident: The employer misclassified their employees as independent contractors and failed to accurately report employee wages to the appropriate agencies including the EDD. As a result of the misclassification, the employer did not pay the appropriate payroll taxes to the EDD.
06/19/19 Employment Tax Fraud Conviction and Sentencing
  • County: Sacramento
  • Court Case Number: 18FE007513
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $5,387 
  • Employer: David Sinclair Fletcher DBA Fletcher’s Landscape & Maintenance Co.
  • Conviction: The employer pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts of section 11760(a) of the Insurance Code for Workers’ Compensation Insurance fraud and section 2117.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The employer was sentenced to incarceration for 45 days in the county jail to be served on home detention and three years on informal probation. The employer was ordered to pay restitution to the EDD of $5,387 and $7,103 to their insurance carrier.
  • Summary of Incident: The Department of Insurance assisted by the EDD conducted an investigation against the employer that is a landscaping company. The business underreported $465,295 in wages to the EDD and underreported wages to their Workers’ Compensation Insurance carrier while paying employees in cash to avoid paying taxes and insurance premiums.
06/11/19 Disability and Unemployment Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • Federal District: State of Idaho, Boise
  • Court Case Number
    • 1:18-CR-281-EJL-1
    • 1:18-CR-281-EJL-2
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $640,246 total for fraudulent Disability and Unemployment Insurance claims.
  • Claimants: Gloudina Robbertse and Chantelle Robbertse
  • Conviction: On 12/06/18 both claimants pleaded guilty to the following charges:
    • Gloudina Robbertse: United States Code, Title 18, section 1028A aggravated identity theft, and section 1343 wire fraud.
    • Chantelle Robbertse: United States Code, Title 18, section 1028A aggravated identity theft.
  • Sentences: The total loss to the EDD is $640,246, however, as part of the plea agreement, only the Disability Insurance loss was ordered for restitution to be paid, jointly.
    • Gloudina Robbertse was sentenced to 54 month in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $475,350.
    • Chantelle Robbertse was sentenced to 24 months in prison, one year of supervised release and ordered to pay $475,350.

    The EDD will collect the remaining Unemployment Insurance overpayment administratively including penalty assessments.

  • Summary of Incident: Gloudina Robbertse and her daughter, Chantelle Robbertse, conspired to defraud the EDD by establishing fictitious employers using the personal identifying information (PII) of true individuals (victims) to file multiple Disability and Unemployment Insurance claims without the consent of the victims. The suspects forged signatures of several physicians and chiropractors to certify the Disability claims. These caregivers had not seen or treated those individuals as patients. The claimants controlled the mailing addresses listed on the claims and utilized EDD debit cards to withdraw funds from ATMs in California and Idaho. The federal Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General assisted the investigation.
06/10/19 Employment Tax Fraud Conviction
  • County: Kern
  • Court Case Number: 15FW027316
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $31,303 
  • Employer: Eduardo Macca DBA Independence Private Patrol Corporation
  • Conviction: The employer pleaded guilty to one felony count each for violation of section 11880 of the Insurance Code for Workers’ Compensation Insurance fraud and section 2118.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code for willful failure to pay payroll taxes.
  • Sentence: Sentencing is scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The California Department of Insurance (CDI) conducted a criminal investigation for Worker’s Compensation Insurance fraud against the Corporate Officer of Independence Private Patrol (IPP); a security guard service company. The investigation determined the employer failed to report employee wages to the State Compensation Insurance Fund and to the EDD. The employer paid his security guards via check and cash. He also included subordinates’ pay in the supervisor’s pay then instructed the supervisor to cash the check and distribute payment to the subordinates. The Kern County District Attorney’s Office requested the EDD to determine the tax liability amount. 

May 2019

05/30/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • County: United States Central District, Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: 2:15-cr-00499-JAK-1
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $4,861,038
  • Claimant: James Herrera
  • Conviction: On 01/10/19, the claimant pleaded guilty to violation of Title 18 of the United States Code, section 1341, Mail Fraud, and section 2, Aiding and Abetting.
  • Sentence: On 5/30/19, the claimant was sentenced to federal prison for a term of 84 months and supervised release for three years. The claimant was held jointly and severally liable with co-defendants to pay restitution in the amount of $4,861,038.
  • Summary of Incident: James Herrera and others created fictitious businesses and reported false wages to the EDD representing non-existent employees including individuals who provided their personal identifying information in exchange for Unemployment Insurance benefits paid based on false wage credits. Approximately 725 fraudulent Unemployment Insurance claims were filed in the names of 384 alleged “employees” all purported to have been laid off work
05/07/19 Employment Tax Fraud Conviction
  • County: San Diego
  • Court Case Number: CD276480
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $77,961
  • Employer: Eric Le, Officer of The 2BC Inc.
  • Summary of Incident: The employer was underreporting payroll and workers’ compensation payments to their insurance carrier.
  • Conviction: On 05/07/19, the employer pleaded guilty to one felony count of section 11880(a) of the Insurance Code and one felony count of section 2118.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentencing: Sentencing is scheduled on a future date. The employer has agreed to serve three years of felony probation and to pay full restitution. Formal sentencing is being delayed for one year when, upon full payment of restitution, the felony plea will be withdrawn and charges reduced to a misdemeanor.

April 2019

04/19/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • County: San Bernardino
  • Court Case Number: 16CR-039096
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $55,409
  • Claimant: Desiree Bejarano
  • Conviction: On 03/16/18, the claimant pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count for violation of section 2101 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to three years of summary probation and ordered to pay full restitution to the EDD. The claimant paid $8,500 before the sentencing date.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant forged doctors’ signatures on the forms she submitted to the EDD to fraudulently collect benefits from three Disability Insurance claims.
04/15/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • County: Ventura County
  • Court Case Number: 2016004706
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $20,475
  • Claimant: Ivan Corona
  • Conviction: On 10/18/18, the claimant pleaded guilty to one count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to 120 days in jail, ordered to serve 36 months of formal probation, and to pay restitution to the EDD of $20,475.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant voluntarily provided his personal identifying information to another individual who listed him as an employee of a fictitious business. Multiple Unemployment Insurance claims were filed based on fictitious employment, and both individuals divided benefits paid from the fraudulent claims.
04/11/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Conviction
  • Federal District: U.S. District Court, Central District, Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: 19-CR-00097-FMO
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $2,318,751
  • Claimant: Rhoda Johnson
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded guilty to one count for violation of section 1349 of the United States Code, Title 18; conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
  • Sentence: Sentence is scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant, working as an office manager in a doctor’s office, was forging the doctor’s signature to fraudulently file Disability Insurance claims for herself, co-workers, relatives, and others. She would charge and receive cash payments from individuals requesting to be placed on Disability Insurance. The claimant filed 148 fraudulent claims using the identities of 41 people, including herself, beginning in 1991. Many of the individuals, including the claimant, were also working and earning wages while collecting benefits on the fraudulent claims.
04/09/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: CR16-00796 JAK
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $547,904
  • Subject: Rolanda Ashley
  • Conviction: On 10/3/18, the claimant pleaded guilty to one felony count for violation of section 1341, Title 18 (mail fraud), of the United States Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison, was ordered to serve three years of supervised probation, and to pay full restitution of $547,904 to the EDD.
  • Summary of Incident: The suspect set up fictitious companies, reported false wages for fictitious employee’s using stolen identities, and collected Unemployment Insurance benefits based on the fraudulent claims.
  • Media Release: The United States Attorney’s Office, Central District, issued a media release: https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/orange-county-woman-sentenced-4-years-federal-prison-unemployment-insurance-fraud.
04/08/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: NA107160
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $31,773
  • Claimant: Donell R. Wheaton
  • Conviction: On 09/11/18, the claimant pleaded nolo contendere to one felony count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant paid the $31,773 restitution amount in full for the overpayment, plus a 30% administrative penalty for a total of $41,305. He was placed on summary probation for two years and was ordered to perform 10 days of work for Caltrans. The felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant failed to report his work and earnings while collecting Disability Insurance benefits.
04/03/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • County: San Bernardino
  • Court Case Number: FWV17004018
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $35,331
  • Claimant: Tamara F. Green
  • Conviction: On 10/09/18, the claimant pleaded no contest to one felony count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant paid the $35,331 restitution amount in full for the overpayment, plus a 30% administrative penalty for a total of $45,931. She was placed on summary probation for three years and her felony conviction was reduced to a misdemeanor.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant failed to report her work and earnings while collecting Disability Insurance benefits on two claims.

March 2019

03/11/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Conviction and Sentencing
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: LA088001
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $51,139
  • Claimant: Carl A. Wren
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded nolo contendere to one count for violation of section 530.5 (a) of the Penal Code.
  • Sentencing: The claimant was ordered to serve two days in the Los Angeles County Jail, perform 100 hours of community service, serve three years of summary probation, and pay full restitution of $51,139 to the EDD, which was paid at the time of sentencing. 
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant submitted false medical documents to the EDD to collect Disability Insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.
03/05/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Conviction
  • Federal District: Federal Court, Eastern District, Sacramento
  • Court Case Number: 2:16-CR-00199 GEB
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $972,318
  • Subject: Kioni Dogan
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded guilty to one count for violation of United States Code Title 18 § 1349 – Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud
  • Sentence: Sentence is scheduled for a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: From 2010 through 2015, the claimant and her co‑conspirators perpetrated a fictitious employer scheme alleging that various persons were employed by that entity. The claimant and a co-defendant subsequently filed Unemployment Insurance claims in the names of the alleged employees and collected fraudulent benefits in their own names and in the names of other alleged employees. This case was a mutual investigation by the EDD, the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
  • Media Release: The United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of California, issued a media release describing the conviction including a second conspiracy to submit false claims for federal income tax refunds: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edca/pr/stockton-woman-pleads-guilty-two-separate-fraud-conspiracies

February 2019

02/21/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Sentencing
  • County: Federal Eastern District Court, Sacramento
  • Court Case Number: 2:17-CR-0060 MCE
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $353,458 (claimant’s portion of $887,199 total for five co- conspirators)
  • Claimant: Gregory Wayne Lee
  • Conviction: On 09/06/18, the claimant pleaded guilty to one felony count of section 1349, Title 18, of the United States Code (conspiracy to commit mail fraud); and one felony count of section 1028A, Title 18, of the United States Code (aggravated identity theft).
  • Sentence: On 02/21/19, the claimant was sentenced to 108 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $353,458 in restitution.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant is a co-conspirator in an identity theft scheme involving over 250 victims. Charges are still pending against the other conspirators. Between 12/12/14 and 07/14/16, the claimant and others perpetrated a scheme to obtain benefit payment debit cards issued in the names of identity theft victims to fraudulently obtain Unemployment Insurance benefits. The conspirators filed at least 269 false claims attempting to obtain $2.5 million in fraudulent benefits. This case was investigated by the EDD mutually with U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
02/20/19 Employment Tax Fraud Conviction
  • County: Alameda
  • Court Case Number: 18-CR-002366
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $165,962 
  • Employer: Leonid Molchanov DBA Attic Pros, Inc.
  • Conviction: The employer pleaded guilty to one felony count, each, of section 2117.5 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, section 487(a) of the Penal Code, and section 11760(a) of the Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: Sentencing is scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office conducted a joint criminal investigation with the EDD Investigation Division against the employer for payroll tax evasion and Workers’ Compensation Insurance fraud. The employer paid his statutory employees by check and issued Internal Revenue Service forms 1099 reporting employee wages to the EDD that were less than actually paid. Investigation revealed that the employer underreported $2,768,957 in wages to the EDD for the period from 01/01/14 through 03/31/17. 
02/06/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Conviction
  • County: Tulare
  • Court Case Number: VCF361408
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $4,500
  • Claimant: Jessica Brown
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded guilty to two felony counts for violation of section 530.5 of the Penal Code.
  • Sentence: Sentencing is scheduled on a future date.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant submitted claims for Unemployment and Disability Insurance benefits based on the identities of other individuals. 
02/06/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Conviction and Sentence
  • County: Los Angeles County
  • Court Case Number: PA091463
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $75,000
  • Claimant: Indelisa Sandoval
  • Conviction: The claimant pleaded guilty to felony violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code.
  • Sentence: The claimant was sentenced to perform 90 days of community labor and was ordered to pay restitution of $75,000 to the EDD that was received on the date of sentence. The claimant will also be placed on three years of probation. 
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant submitted forged medical documents and failed to report her work and earnings to the EDD while receiving Disability Insurance benefits.

January 2019

01/10/19 Unemployment Insurance Fraud Convictions and Sentencing
  • County: Los Angeles, United States Central District
  • Court Case Number: 2:15-cr-00499-JAK-1
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $4,861,038
  • Claimants: Jack Benjamin Hessiani, James Manuel Herrera, Eduardo Josue Garcia, Daniel Ayala-Mora
  • Convictions: On the dates shown below, each of three claimant defendants pleaded to one count of United States Code, Title 18, Section 1341, Mail Fraud, Aiding And Abetting Causing An Act To Be Done;
    • 08/23/18, Jack Hessiani, sentenced on 01/10/19
    • 01/10/19, James Herrera, sentence pending
    • 01/10/19, Eduardo Garcia, sentence pending
    • 04/28/16, Daniel Ayala-Mora (possible change of plea filed). This defendant also pleaded guilty to one count of United States Code, Title 18, Section 1029(a)(2), Use Of Unauthorized Access Devices.
  • Sentence: 
    • On 01/31/19, Jack Hessiani was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. Additional stipulations are to be decided in a later hearing.
    • Sentences are pending for the three other defendants.
  • Summary of Incident: Hessiani and his brother, James Herrera, created fictitious businesses after which they and others submitted reports to the EDD of false wages for non-existent employees, including individuals who had agreed to provide their personal identifying information in exchange for a portion of the Unemployment Insurance benefits. Hessiani then submitted approximately 725 Unemployment Insurance claims in the names of 384 alleged “employees” purporting them to have been laid off.
  • Media Release: The United States Attorney’s Office issued a news release.
01/04/19 Disability Insurance Fraud Conviction and Sentencing
  • County: Los Angeles
  • Court Case Number: BA386927
  • Amount Due to the EDD: $29,435
  • Claimant: Sharron Lashaun Ward
  • Conviction: The claimant previously pleaded to one felony count for violation of section 2101(a) of the Unemployment Insurance Code and one felony count for violation of section 487(a) of the Penal Code.
  • Sentence: On 01/04/19, the claimant was sentenced to five years of formal probation with a confirmed completion of 200 hours of community service as a pre-condition to sentencing, was ordered to pay court fines and fees, and was ordered to pay restitution to the EDD. The conviction may be reduced to misdemeanor violations if the claimant continues to pay restitution pending review for compliance in a probation hearing scheduled during the year 2020.
  • Summary of Incident: The claimant filed two Disability Insurance claims containing the forged signatures of two doctors and failed to report her work and earnings while collecting benefits.