California Disability Insurance Worker Sentenced for Fraud

A California state disability insurance employee will spend five years in prison for defrauding the system and approving illicit payments to friends.

Audrey Renee Bell, of Pacoima, Calif., worked for the California Employment Development Department checking and processing disability claims.

Court evidence showed that between July 2003 and January 2006, Bell defrauded the EDD of more than $110,000 by authorizing fake claims by her friends. A number of Bell’s friends testified that she took about half the money.

Bell pleaded guilty in 2009, and was sentenced in Sacramento federal court. She will also have to pay $100,000 restitution.

The scheme came to light after a callers to the EDD fraud hot line reported on Bell.