LOS ANGELES – A Lancaster man was sentenced Monday to 80 months in federal prison for a scheme to defraud the state’s unemployment insurance program and a related scam to obtain fraudulent federal tax refunds.
Carl Artis, 55, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George Wu, who also ordered the defendant to pay $598,000 in restitution.
Artis pleaded guilty in February in Los Angeles to federal counts of mail fraud and making false claims against the United States government.
From at least August 2010 through August 2014, Artis operated a scheme to defraud the California Employment Development Department of unemployment insurance benefits, according to the plea agreement.
To execute the scheme, Artis registered fictitious companies with the EDD, submitted false wage information for individuals whom he falsely claimed worked for those companies, and then fraudulently applied for and obtained unemployment insurance benefits in the names of these individuals, according to federal prosecutors.
In addition, from at least April 2011 until July 2013, Artis engaged in a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by submitting fraudulent tax returns that sought tax refunds. In the tax fraud scheme, Artis used the identities of many of the same individuals and businesses used in the EDD scheme, prosecutors said.
Artis, who had served time in the California state prison system, used names of other prisoners to file the false claims with the EDD and the IRS, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“Today’s sentencing highlights that EDD has zero tolerance for fraud against the Unemployment Insurance Program,” said EDD Director Patrick W. Henning Jr. “I applaud EDD’s Investigation Division, the U.S. Attorney, and our other law enforcement partners for protecting taxpayers, businesses and unemployed Californians.”
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