SAN DIEGO—A San Diego woman who used the personal information of jail detainees, as well as homeless and low-income people, to fraudulently obtain state benefits and stimulus checks was sentenced Dec. 18 to two years and seven months in federal prison.
Alexandra Crystal Jackson, 32, pleaded guilty to applying for benefit payments from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) and Economic Impact Payments—commonly referred to as stimulus checks—from the IRS.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Ms. Jackson received at least 40 EDD debit cards in other people’s names and used the cards to get cash and buy jewelry, furniture and a Mercedes-Benz G-Class 550 SUV. She also applied for stimulus checks with the personal information she obtained, and the payments were moved to bank accounts she controlled, prosecutors said.
Ms. Jackson’s sentence includes an order to pay restitution, and a forfeiture order for the Mercedes-Benz was ordered.
Ms. Jackson’s co-defendant Demetrius Montre McFarland, 31, also of San Diego, pleaded guilty to giving Ms. Jackson the personal information of his fellow jail detainees at the Vista Detention Center. McFarland is slated to be sentenced in March.
San Diego U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath said in a statement, “These government programs were meant to help California residents get through the pandemic. They were not intended as a get-rich-quick scheme for criminals who want a Mercedes.”