Briefs: Guilty pleas in insurance scam
Two people pleaded guilty on Thursday in US District Court in Sacramento in connection with a $5 million unemployment insurance scam that has been based in Sutter County since 1989.
Seema Rajput, of Modesto, and Rajinder Dhillon, of Sacramento, pleaded to one count each of mail fraud, according to Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman with the US Attorney's Office in Sacramento.
Rajput, 45, and Dhillion, 70, are the first two to be convicted in a case with more than 20 defendants, 17 of whom are from Sutter County.
Prosecutors believe the scam was controlled by Mohammad Nawaz Khan, 56; Mohammad Adnan Khan, 31; Iqila Begum Khan, 31, all of Live Oak; and Mohammad Shahbaz Khan 56, of Yuba City. They were indicted in April.
Authorities believe more than 400 people were involved in filing more than 2,000 fraudulent claims dating back to 1989.
Rajput and Dhillion are scheduled for sentencing in May. Remaining defendants are set to appear in court on March 7.
Pension reform doesn't match
A component of state employee pension reform passed last year doesn't match up with Yuba County employee contracts, so county supervisors will send a letter explaining so to the state.
On a unanimous vote Tuesday, supervisors approved sending a memorandum of understanding impairment notice to the California Public Employees Retirement System. The impairment stems from state pension reform barring a public agency for paying an employees' share of pension costs.
County Human Resources Manager Martha Wilson told supervisors the county's existing contracts with some of its employee bargaining groups call for the county to pick up such costs, so the state has to be notified.
The contracts would be brought into compliance with state law if they are amended or expire, she told the board.
Garamendi receives assignments
US Rep. John Garamendi received his subcommittee assignments Wednesday relative to the committees he is on, with particular relevance to the Yuba-Sutter area.
As part of his Armed Services Committee assignment, Garamendi will also be on the Strategic Forces and Tactical Air and Land subcommittee, which oversees programs at Beale and Travis Air Force bases and acquisitions by the US Army and Air Force.
Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, will also be on the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee as part of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over the US Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for much of the levee system around Yuba-Sutter.