Convicted Sex Offender in Jail and Outside Accomplice Charged with Grand Theft and Fraudulent Receipt of $11,688.00 in Unemployment Benefits (EDD)
Originally published as a Yolo County District Attorney press release –
(Woodland, CA) – December 21, 2020 – On December 10, 2020, the Honorable Judge Paul Richardson sentenced 29-year-old Taylor Lewis Gholar to three years in State Prison after being convicted of going to a meeting with a minor for the purpose of lewd or lascivious conduct and communicating with a minor for the purpose of lewd or lascivious conduct. Gholar will also be required to register as a sex offender upon release and is currently serving his sentence in the Yolo County Jail.
Following this conviction, Yolo County District Attorney Investigators were alerted that Gholar was fraudulently receiving Unemployment Insurance Benefits while being housed in custody in the Yolo County Jail. The investigators were able to intercept phone calls from the Yolo County Jail between Gholar and his girlfriend, Sonia Chan, where they discussed the filing of fraudulent claims for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
In order to be eligible for Unemployment Insurance Benefits, the applicant must be physically able and available to work and must also be ready and willing to accept work immediately. Because Gholar was in jail, he was not legally eligible for benefits. Despite the legal requirements, the Complaint alleges that Chan submitted an application for Gholar on-line and received debit cards on behalf of Gholar. In total, Gholar and Chan received $11,688.00 in fraudulent funds.
California District Attorneys and investigators have uncovered perhaps the largest fraud scheme ever committed against California taxpayers. Early estimates are that upwards of a billion dollars in unemployment checks have been sent to individuals in the names of inmates in prisons and jails, including many prisoners serving life sentences or being held on death row. Other reports indicate that the total fraud, including unemployment checks sent to individuals living out of state and in some cases out of the country, could easily exceed five billion dollars.
Both Gholar and Chan have been charged with felony violations of Penal Code Section 487(a) (Grand Theft); Penal Code Section 550(a) (Making False and Fraudulent Insurance Claim; and Penal Code Section 182 (Conspiracy to Commit Fraud).