Santa Maria woman sentenced for COVID-19 insurance fraud

May 7, 2024


A 51-year-old Santa Maria woman was sentenced on Monday to five months in prison and five months home confinement while her 30-year-old daughter was sentenced to 21 months in prison for submitting fraudulent unemployment insurance claims to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) in the names of inmates.

While Apryl Weston lived in Santa Maria, her daughter Makiah Miles was incarcerated at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. From June 2020 through Dec. 2020, Miles gathered other inmates’ names, dates of birth, and social security numbers which she sent to Weston.

Weston then submitted false unemployment claims worth nearly $250,000. Weston claimed the inmates had recently worked as childcare providers, cosmetologists, hairdressers and other occupations, but were unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This case is part of the California COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Strike Force. The California Strike Force combines law enforcement and prosecutorial resources in the Eastern and Central Districts of California, and focuses on large-scale and egregious pandemic relief fraud. The strike force uses prosecutor-led, and data analyst-driven, teams to identify and bring to justice those who stole pandemic relief money.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What a racket, get paid to give our money away, then to research for fraud, convict those they catch after the fact and charge us to incarcerate them too. It may be cost effective to ignore those who borrow less than $100K then forgive the debt as they do for student debt..

They should be barred from all social welfare programs in California for life.

Restitution?? should she at least be required to return the money she stole?? but then again California has 10’s to 100’s of billions unaccounted for so what a lousy $250,000.