Arrests were made on new charges in a continuing investigation into a fraudulent unemployment and disability benefits scheme based out of Sutter County, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
“Whether it’s against the employer-funded unemployment insurance program or
the employee-funded disability insurance program, fraud is costly to all of us,”
said EDD Director Pam Harris. “Our department and its dedicated investigators
are committed to detecting and deterring fraud and ensuring justice is served in
this case and any other where individuals are cheating a system meant to benefit
hard-working Californians and businesses.”
In a 24-count indictment that was unsealed today, a federal grand jury
charged Ryan Herbert Smith, 46, of Turlock; Chindo Gharu, 49, of Yuba City;
Seema Rajput, 45, of Modesto; Rajinder Kaur Dhillon, 70, of Sacramento; Rajinder
Kaur Dhillon 47, of Yuba City; and Balwinder Singh Khangura, 64, of Yuba City
and Sacramento, with participating in a scheme to defraud the state of
California of unemployment and disability benefits. Smith, Gharu, Rajinder Kaur
Dhillon, and Khangura were arrested. The remaining two defendants are expected
According to the previous indictment, Mohammad Nawaz Khan, 56; Mohammad Adnan
Khan, 31; Iqila Begum Khan, 31, all of Live Oak; and Mohammad Shahbaz Khan 56,
of Yuba City, controlled a series of companies that were reported to the
Employment Development Department as farm labor contractors. The Khans sold fake
paystubs to other people in the community and used the companies they controlled
to report false wages for the individuals who purchased those paystubs. The
Khans at times instructed the purchasers how the fake paystubs could be used to
fraudulently claim unemployment and disability benefits. Over the course of the
conspiracy, the defendants reported wages for over 400 separate individuals that
resulted in more than 2,000 fraudulent claims for unemployment and disability
benefits. The loss in this case is over $5 million.
According to the new indictment, Smith, Charu, Rajput, Dhillon, Dhillon, and
Khangura purchased paystubs that falsely showed they had been paid wages by
companies controlled by the Khans. The defendants would then use that paystub to
file for unemployment benefits, disability benefits, or both.
The investigation in this case is ongoing to determine the full extent of the
This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, the Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General, and the
Employment Development Department-Investigations Division. Assistant United
States Attorney Jared Dolan is prosecuting the case.
The maximum statutory penalty for mail fraud is 20 years in prison and a
$250,000 for each count. The actual sentence, if convicted, will be determined
at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory
factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number
The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until
and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
As an American, I have witnessed many events in our nation's history. Some of them great like placing a man on the moon. Some of them were dark and shameful events. No matter what happened, it is the people that make this nation great. Each looking to the future with optimism and looking to improve this nation for all. The United States is a great and wonderful nation and her people are her best asset. As Americans, we need to stand together and let our voices be heard.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Four of Six Arrested on New Indictment in Sutter County Benefits Fraud Case
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