Additional charges may be coming in Sutter claims fraud case
Additional federal charges may be in the works for two Sutter County residents indicted earlier this year in a suspected 20-year unemployment fraud scam.
Mohammad Nawaz Khan and Iqila Begum Khan and others were indicted in May, accused of filing thousands of fraudulent disability and unemployment claims dating back to 1989. Six residents were linked to the alleged $5 million scam.
Now federal prosecutors believe both residents may have continued their alleged scam following their arrest. Both appeared briefly Monday in US District Court in Sacramento.
"The judge said that he had concerns about the defendants and ordered an evidentiary hearing," said Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the US Attorney's Office.
Less than a month after the indictment was handed down, the state employment department received a new unemployment insurance benefits claim in the name of Mohammad Nawaz Khan.
FBI investigators made an undercover phone call to Mohammad Khan to determine if he submitted the claim.
"Mohammad Nawaz Khan was contacted and did not deny the submission of the new claim for unemployment insurance benefits," according to a motion filed in US District Court in Sacramento.
Officials also said they believe Iqila Begum Khan was involved in the additional alleged fraud, but did not say in what capacity.
Federal prosecutors said both people have claimed there was "a good explanation for what happened," but details of their reported defense were not available Monday.
Prosecutors are asking Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman to revoke bail for both defendants and place them in custody.
Mohammad Nawaz Khan and Iqila Begum Khan were ordered back to US District Court on Aug. 29 for the evidentiary hearing.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.