South African mother and daughter sentenced to prison for defrauding California Employment Disability Department
BOISE – Gloudina Robbertse, 50, of Meridian, Idaho, was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison for filing false claims for disability benefits with the California Employment Disability Department (CEDD), Special Agent in Charge Brad Bench of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle Field Office and U.S. Attorney Bart Davis announced today. Her daughter, Chantelle Robbertse, 24, a co-defendant in the case, was sentenced to 24 months for her role in the fraud scheme. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge also ordered Gloudina and Chantelle Robbertse to pay $475,350.28 in restitution to the CEDD.
According to court records, while living in California, Gloudina and Chantelle Robbertse devised and executed a scheme to defraud the CEDD. They continued the scheme when they moved to Idaho in April 2017. Gloudina and Chantelle Robbertse filed false disability claims using the identity of real persons without their knowledge. Once the claims were approved by the CEDD, a debit card was issued in the name of the claimants being impersonated. Gloudina and Chantelle Robbertse used commercial mailboxes set up in California and Idaho to receive the debit cards. Thereafter, Gloudina and Chantelle withdrew money from the debit cards at banks in Idaho and California for their own personal financial gain.
“Identity theft disrupts lives, creates financial havoc and causes undue emotional stress for victims,” said Davis. “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.”
Gloudina Robbertse pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft on December 6, 2018. On that same day, Chantelle Robbertse pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft.
This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.