An Anaheim tax preparer pleaded guilty Wednesday for her part in an unemployment insurance scam during the COVID-19 pandemic involving four state prisoners.

Sandra Pineda, 37, pleaded guilty to 72 felony counts that include perjury, false statement, conspiracy and money laundering. She also admitted sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime exceeding $500,000. Pineda was scheduled to be sentenced May 19.

Pineda was accused of filing bogus unemployment claims for Leonel Hernandez, 35, who has been in Kern Valley state prison since February 2010 for murder, prosecutors said.

She is also accused of helping to file bogus unemployment claims for prisoners Greg Garcia, 31, Ryan Vargas, 38, and Hector Jimenez, 33.

Pineda used personal identifying information to file false unemployment claims and then using debit cards to withdraw money, prosecutors said.

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