SAN DIEGO (CNS) — A San Diego married couple is accused of using the personal information of the homeless, low-income earners and inmates to claim benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an indictment dated Monday. unsealed .
The US law firm said Demetrius Montre McFarland, 30, and Alexandra Crystal McFarland, 32, participated in a plan to use others’ personally identifiable information to apply for Economic Impact Payments (EIP) from the IRS.
Alexandra McFarland allegedly approached homeless and low-income people in 2020, obtained their personal information, and then told them to expect an EIP in the mail. Her husband, now serving a prison sentence for attempted murder, also requested personal information from his fellow inmates at the Vista Detention Center, prosecutors said.
The US law firm said Alexandra McFarland claimed she would help individuals with the application process in exchange for a certain portion of the EIP, but would ultimately keep all payments or more than agreed.
According to the indictment, she also used personal information to apply for benefits from California’s Employment Development Department.
She allegedly used EDD debit cards obtained through those applications to allegedly “purchase thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, nearly $9,000 worth of furniture that she shipped to her Spring Valley residence, and to pay part of a down payment of $60,000 for a Mercedes-Benz G-Class. 550 SUV,” the US Attorney’s Office said.
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