Written by: Nathaniel Mannor
Something is rotten in the state of California. That something pertains to a California trio who stole $2 million in Employment Development Department (EDD) unemployment claims using other people’s information to collect benefits. The crime involved Ratha Yin (incarcerated in Centinela State Prison), his wife Amanda, and Steven Mavromatis.
The story begins on October 16, 2020, when an officer at Centinela State Prison discovered two phones and two SD cards in Ratha Yin’s cell. Yin hid the phones inside his pocket and under a book while sealing the SD cards in a deodorant bottle. With the help of an FBI agent, the officer found numerous screenshots of Bank of America cards, IDs, names of EDD unemployment recipients, Robocheck (a dark web organization used to purchase sensitive information), and text messages between Yin, his wife, and Mavromatis.
The evidence showed that Yin and Mavromatis used EDD names to file fake claims for unemployment gains while his wife collected and disposed of the money the two stole. Amanda Yin then spent $700,000 on a new Audi and down payment for a house in May 2021. Amanda Yin and Steven Mavromatis were then arrested last Tuesday and will appear in court on September 28.
The two newly-arrested members face 20 years in prison if convicted for defrauding the CARES Act, which helps those who lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to their arrest, the EDD released a statement saying, “We appreciate the strong work of law enforcement in investigating this criminal activity from last year and bringing the perpetrators to justice.”