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Santa Barbara County Prosecutors Say Duo Stole $2 Million From State Through Unemployment Fraud

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Two people have pled guilty to dozens of charges stemming from an unemployment fraud scheme which Santa Barbara County prosecutors say cost the state more than two million dollars.

Prosecutors say Gordon Alan Welterlen stole the identities of more than nine thousand people from a Santa Barbara property management company.  They say he, and Nicole Michelle Milan used the information to file more than 300 fraudulent unemployment claims.

Investigators say in addition to the phony claims, the two San Diego County residents used the stole identities to buy cars, open bank accounts, and rent apartments.

Welterlen pled guilty to 17 felony charges.  As part of his plea deal, the 37-year-old man will receive an 18 year state prison sentence.  Milan pled guilty to 16 counts, and will get a 15 year state prison sentence.