Romanian Couple Pleads Guilty to Multi-Million Dollar California Unemployment Fraud

A Romanian couple admitted to executing a complicated scam that robbed the California unemployment system of more than $5 million.

Eduard Buse, 30, and Florentina Sima, 29, pleaded guilty to counts of fraud and money laundering in San Diego federal court on Thursday.

Their admission reveals a clever operation that exploited flaws in the state’s benefits system.

Massive Payouts: Fraudulent Claims Totals Millions Paid Out

According to authorities from the United States Attorney’s Office, Buse and Sima were significant players in a scam that entailed recruiting and supporting hundreds of people to file bogus claims with the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Romanian Couple Pleads Guilty to Multi-Million Dollar California Unemployment Fraud

The bogus paperwork permitted payments totaling over $5.2 million, with Buse personally pocketing more than $28,000 in benefits. Furthermore, he helped secure $244,050 in compensation for 14 others, including his wife.

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International Trail: Illicit Gains Sent to Romania; Luxury Purchases Revealed

The scope of the deception went beyond California’s boundaries, with the pair sending roughly $200,000 of the illegal gains to Romania.

Furthermore, Buse spent the ill-gotten money on lavish items, such as a 2020 BMW X6 for $105,044.

You can check the tweet we have provided to you below:

However, Romanian authorities intervened and seized the luxurious automobile, as well as cash and high-end watches.

As part of their plea pleas, Buse and Sima agreed to surrender these assets, dealing a serious blow to their illegal company.

In a case that highlights the far-reaching consequences of unemployment benefits fraud, Buse and Sima’s guilty pleas serve as a sharp reminder of the need to protect public monies and pursue those who attempt to manipulate the system for personal gain.

According to Tara McGrath, U.S. Attorney for San Diego, “These covid relief funds were meant to provide critical financial relief during the pandemic. Instead, the money was used to buy luxury cars and jewelry.”

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