Defendant Pleads to EDD Fraud Charges, Sentenced to Prison
DATE: March 26, 2021
CASE: Walter Lee Dawson (Case #20FE019364)
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Nicholas Johnson
Walter Lee Dawson pled to five counts of fraudulently applying for unemployment benefits (EDD Fraud) and possession for sale of marijuana. He also admitted to a prior 2015 strike conviction for residential burglary. Dawson was sentenced to 9 years and 4 months in state prison.
Dawson was arrested on December 3, 2020, when Sacramento Probation Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a probation compliance search and recovered a Glock style pistol with no serial number, multiple rounds of 9 mm ammunition, approximately $58,000 in cash, approximately 3.8 pounds of marijuana, and packaging material consistent with marijuana sales. Dawson was arrested and charged with felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, and possession of marijuana for sales charges in Sacramento Superior Court case number 20FE019364.
During the search, nine EDD debit cards issued in different names were also recovered as were approximately 20 additional EDD documents in various people’s names. After Dawson’s arrest, a joint investigation by the District Attorney, Probation Department, Sheriff’s Office, and the California Employment Development Department (EDD) Investigations Division revealed that approximately $219,000 had been fraudulently acquired by Dawson when he obtained the nine EDD cards.
Dawson was ordered to pay $219,964 in restitution to EDD. The $58,155 in cash and all money left on the EDD cards that were found during the probation search will be turned over to EDD as restitution.