Mom and Daughter Sentenced for Fraud Scheme
(KLIX) – A mother and daughter now living in Idaho will spend time behind bars for a fraud scheme, a U.S. judge said on Wednesday.
Gloudina Robbertse, 50, of Meridian was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for filing false claims for disability benefits with the California Employment Disability Department (CEDD), while her daughter and co-defendant, Chantelle Robbertse, 24, was sentenced to 24 months for her role in the scheme, U.S. Attorney Bart Davis said in a news release. The two also must pay $475,350.28 in restitution to the CEDD.
“It is widely believed that fraud cases are victimless crimes, but that could not be farther from the truth,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle. “These individuals stole money that was intended for people in need, some of which solely rely on government programs for life’s necessities."
Identity theft disrupts lives, creates financial havoc and causes undue emotional stress for victims. Those who callously defraud individuals will be prosecuted and punished. I commend the diligent efforts of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for stopping these identity thieves in their tracks. The court’s restitution order ensures any assets will go toward repairing the financial harm caused to the victims in this case.
Court records show that the mom and daughter schemed while living in California to defraud the CEDD and continued to do so even after they moved to Idaho in April 2017.
They filed false disability claims using the identity of real persons without their knowledge. Once the claims were approved, a debit card was issued in the name of the indivuals being impersonated. The two used commercial mailboxes set up in California and Idaho to receive the debit cards.
Gloudina Robbertse pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft on Dec. 6, 2018. On that same day, Chantelle Robbertse pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft.
“When someone’s identity is stolen it can take several years to correct the issue,” Bench said. “Often times this leaves victims without the ability to obtain funds they desperately need, from programs meant to assist them, all while struggling to prove their own financial responsibility. Ultimately, victims and taxpayers bare the largest burden when crimes like this occur."