One Face of California EDD Fraud Received a Plea Agreement: Which Tells Us the Corruption Goes Deep

(AP Photo/WHDH-TV Boston)

The people of California are fortunate that Cara Marie Kirk-Connell’s fraud through the Employment Development Department is a federal offense. If Kirk-Connell had committed her crimes solely in L.A. County, the progressive District Attorney George Gascon would probably have coddled her and treated her as a poor victim of an unjust legal system. It would be pointed out that she was doing everyone a favor in exposing weaknesses and inequality of the so-called safety net, as well as the justice system.


Kirk-Connell was charged in October with identity theft, mail fraud, and access device fraud to illegally obtain unemployment and enhanced COVID-19 benefits. She was one of the first mud tracks to what we now know is a raging river of corruption. So, while she is the tip of the spear, so to speak, she should be no less culpable. With the wire fraud and the robbery of federal COVID relief funds, she crossed the Rubicon and is now looking towards some quality time at Club Fed.

Kirk-Connell was arrested way back in September for her crime spree which spanned from May to October. While many Californians were desperately waiting for their benefits and have suffered the loss of homes, businesses, and being audited and attacked by the EDD for employee misclassification (thank you, AB5), Kirk-Connell manipulated the system to rake in over half a million dollars and then some.

As the Press-Enterprise originally covered the story, it was a routine traffic stop that put Kirk-Connell on law enforcement’s radar. The rest is history:

“According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, Murrieta police conducted a traffic stop of Kirk-Connell on Sept. 11. A search of the car resulted in the seizure of eight debit cards that contained unemployment benefits in other people’s names, as well as more than $30,000 in cash and several driver’s licenses for other motorists.

“The affidavit said that Kirk-Connell admitted to investigators that she obtained the information from the “dark web” — the part of the internet that is invisible to search engines where such information is often illegally sold […]

“If convicted as charged, Kirk-Connell faces a maximum sentence of 32 years in federal prison.


Fast forward to December, and it seems Kirk-Connell sang for her supper and received a plea agreement. Now she only faces up to 10 years in federal prison—shame it’s not longer. Reuters was a bit more cryptic in its reporting:

“Cara Marie Kirk-Connell, 32, admitted in a plea agreement to purchasing stolen identities through the “dark web” and watching YouTube videos on how to file fraudulent unemployment claims, prosecutors said.

“Kirk-Connell pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to a single count of use of an unauthorized access device.

“As part of her plea deal with prosecutors, Kirk-Connell admitted procuring debit cards worth more than $500,000 from the California Employment Development Department using stolen personal information.

“California EDD records showed that the cards and identities were used to obtain approximately $534,149 in COVID-19-related unemployment funds, of which nearly $270,000 had already been spent, according to an affidavit filed as part of the investigation.”

Since this is only one wade into the river of filth at the California EDD, including 1-year olds receiving unemployment benefits, death row inmates being used to scam billions, and raids in the Central Valley that uncovered fraud rings in action, there are sure to be more arrests and discoveries in the coming weeks. Journalist Adam Housley, who is a California native, has been following the tracks and tweeting about it.


As Governor Gavin Newsom said in an interview earlier this year,

“Coronavirus is an opportunity for reimagining a more Progressive era”.

I don’t think His Hairfulness expected this meant uncovering their fraud and corruption, but none of us are unhappy about it. For those who still can afford popcorn, we’re just waiting on the next show.

I suspect Kirk-Connell has more intel and information that is not being released to us average folks, maybe even some high profile elected and appointed officials who need to be investigated. Her fraud charges were pretty significant, but they pled her out really fast. There are no companion stories or revealing information from friends or family members circulating around the Internet. No TMZ stories about who Cara Marie Kirk-Connell is, and why she did what she did. There aren’t even any perp pictures. This is California, where your 15 minutes of fame always comes with pictures. But in Kirk-Connell’s case, apparently not. It’s highly unusual.


Kirk-Connell is scheduled to be back in court on April 9, 2021, where she will be sentenced. Even if she is sentenced, I see WitSec in her future. That river of corruption is flowing fast and running deep.


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