NORWALK -- A convicted murderer's father and girlfriend - accused of funneling more than $20,000 in unemployment benefits to the inmate - were sentenced to five years in state prison Tuesday.
Juan Leonard Garcia, 48, of Pico Rivera, and Sandra Muro Jaimez, 46, of Downey, each pleaded guilty to making false unemployment insurance claims. Garcia also pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary, while Jaimez pleaded guilty to one count each of possession for sale of methamphetamine and felony child abuse.
The pair, along with a third defendant, were charged last March after the crimes were discovered. They took the plea deal as a jury was being selected.
The defendants submitted false unemployment insurance claims and cashed biweekly California Employment Development Department checks from Oct., 2008 to August, 2010.
In addition to prison time, Norwalk Superior Court Judge Robert Higa ordered Garcia and Jaimez to pay full restitution of $22,087, plus interest to the California Employment Development Department, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Michael Enomoto said.
A third defendant, 26-year-old Cynthia Limas of Menifee, pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to commit grand theft. Limas was sentenced to probation, 180 days in county jail and community labor.
The three defendants received and cashed the biweekly unemployment checks on behalf of Garcia's son, Anthony, a Rivera 13 gang member serving a 65-year-to-life prison term for a Pico Rivera murder. Garcia's son was ineligible to receive the unemployment checks because he is in prison.
Jaimez and Menifee are Anthony Garcia's girlfriends, Enomoto said.
Proceeds from the checks were shared by the defendants, the younger Garcia and other gang members in the Los Angeles County Jail.