RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — A 28-year-old Fontana man has been arrested on suspicion of committing identity theft to fraudulently collect more than $300,000 in unemployment benefits.
Thomas Frank Ledbetter was booked into the Robert Presley Jail Tuesday on suspicion of forgery, identity theft, money laundering, falsifying documents and possession of controlled substances.
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According to the Riverside Police Department, Ledbetter had been under investigation since September when officers took him into custody for allegedly driving on a suspended license.
During the traffic stop, $9,000 in casino winnings was seized. Officers also found “nearly 23 grams of heroin, needle syringes and 13 EDD ATM cards” in different people’s names who were allegedly unaware of the claims, according to the department.
Ledbetter was released on his own recognizance, but Riverside PD said the investigation continued and a search warrant was executed earlier this week.
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It’s believed he stole as much as $316,500 in unemployment benefits from the California Employment Development Department.
According to the Riverside Police Department, additional unemployment fraud-related arrests are expected in the coming weeks. Anyone with information about suspected EDD fraud was asked to contact the Economic Crimes Unit at (951) 353-7118.
As for Ledbetter, he is being held on $130,000 bail.
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