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Las Vegas woman sentenced for fraudulently collecting $175K in unemployment

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Published: May. 11, 2022 at 9:09 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Las Vegas woman was sentenced to 45 months in prison Tuesday for using dozens of stolen identities to fraudulently collect over $175,000 in unemployment benefits.

According to a news release, the woman, identified as Danielle Lacharis Buck, aka Danielle Lacharis Lakey, used at least 40 stolen identities to collect approximately $175,622 in unemployment insurance benefits from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

According to court documents, from Sept. 2010 to April 2019, Buck executed a scheme to defraud the California EDD.

Buck, who was employed in medical billing and collections, used her position to wrongfully obtain hospital patients’ names, social security numbers, and employment information, authorities say. She then used these victims’ stolen identities to apply for and receive unemployment insurance benefits.

Records say that she withdrew cash using unemployment insurance benefits debit cards at ATMs in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles areas. In total, Buck submitted more than 50 false unemployment insurance claims using at least 40 different stolen identities, according to authorities.

Buck pleaded guilty in Oct. 2021 to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. In addition to imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson sentenced Buck to three years of supervised release, authorities said.