Reporting Ed Mertz
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The father and two girlfriends of a convicted killer from Pico Rivera faced prison time on Monday for cashing thousands of dollars in unemployment checks in his name.
KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports the trio were scheduled to be arraigned on charges ranging from grand theft to second-degree burglary and unemployment fraud.
Anthony “Chopper” Garcia, 22, had been serving time for killing a rival gang member at a Pico Rivera liquor store in 2004.
He was arrested for the murder in 2008 when Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives linked him to the shooting after seeing a tattoo of the crime scene on Garcia’s chest.
The tattoo include detailed information about the crime scene such as Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was murdered, along with the direction the shots were fired and the name of the street on which the crime took place.
While in prison, Garcia’s father, 47-year-old gang member Juan Garcia, along with his son’s two girlfriends, Sandra Jaimez, 45, of Downey, and Cynthia Limas, 25, of Menifee, helped the inmate receive more than $30,000 in unemployment insurance benefits in his name while he was incarcerated between Oct. 2008 and March 2010.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Pauline Panis said it didn’t take long before investigators found out where the money was coming from.
“Garcia was having family members and friend fraudulently obtain and cash biweekly unemployment insurance checks totaling approximately $1,600 per month,” said Panis.
Inmates are not legally entitled to receive unemployment benefits, said Capt. Mike Parker of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.
Garcia’s father was arrested at his job in South Gate and subsequently booked for 13 counts of second degree burglary, conspiracy to commit grand theft and unemployment fraud.
Jaimez and Limas were also arrested in connection with the crime. Jaimez was booked for 10 counts of second degree burglary, conspiracy, unemployment fraud, possession of a controlled substance for sales and a gang enhancement. Limas was booked for conspiracy to commit grand theft and grand theft with a gang enhancement.
Jaimez is being held in lieu of $600,000 bail. Lima is being held on $60,000 bail.