Pico Rivera man, Downey woman get five years for prison unemployment fraud

NORWALK – Two people were sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for fraudulently getting more than $20,000 in unemployment benefits for a Pico Rivera gang member and convicted murder. Authorities said several gang members in county jail also got a share of the money.

Jury selection started Tuesday in the trial of Juan Leonard Garcia, 48, of Pico Rivera, and Sandra Muro Jaimez, 46, of Downey, at Norwalk Superior Court when the pair took a plea deal.

Deputy District Attorney Mike Enomoto said Juan Garcia pleaded guilty to two counts of making false unemployment insurance claims and two counts of second-degree burglary while Jaimez pleaded guilty to making a false unemployment insurance claim, possession for sale of methamphetamine and felony child abuse. She also admitted to the allegation that the fraud was committed to benefit a gang, Enomoto said.

The judge also ordered Juan Garcia and Jaimez to pay restitution of $22,087 plus interest to the California Employment Development Department.

A third defendant, 26-year-old Cynthia Limas of Menifee, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit grand theft last year. Enomoto said Limas was sentenced to probation, 180 days in county jail and community labor

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