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California woman admits pandemic fraud using senator's name

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California woman who acknowledged using U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's name to receive $21,000 in pandemic-related assistance has pleaded guilty to stealing unemployment benefits. Authorities say it was part of nearly $200,000 in unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits contained in debit cards shipped to the home of 44-year-old Andrea Gervais of Roseville. Gervais worked for the state unemployment agency until she was fired in 2018. Investigators say overall losses from the widespread fraud will top at least $11 billion. That includes at least $810 million in the names of roughly 45,000 inmates, some of them on death row.

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