Bruno Galindo, 51, pleaded guilty Dec. 28 to 20 counts of false statement or representation or concealment, six counts of money laundering, and a count of conspiracy to defraud, all felonies.
Galindo had accepted a plea deal from Orange County Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham. Prosecutors objected to the plea deal.
Galindo’s sister, Rosalva Bahena, of Irvine, also pleaded guilty Dec. 28 to three counts of perjury, 20 counts of false statement or representation or concealment, six counts of money laundering, and a count of conspiracy to defraud, all felonies. Bahena was scheduled to be sentenced June 1.
Co-defendant Guillermo Rodriguez, 55, had his case dismissed Jan. 3.
Galindo, who was in prison during the scam, was accused of falsely claiming he lost his full-time job at a smoke shop because of the pandemic in August 2020, according to the criminal complaint. Galindo was in prison at the time for attempted murder in January 2005 in Riverside County.
Bahena conspired with Galindo to defraud the California Employment Development Department with bogus pandemic-related unemployment claims on behalf of three prisoners, according to the criminal complaint.
Bahena used the debit cards issued to Galindo and Rodriguez to withdraw money from Bank of America in August, October and November.
Bahena pleaded guilty in December 2016 to carjacking in a plea bargain that led to the dismissal of charges of kidnapping, car theft and buying or receiving a stolen vehicle, according to court records. She was sentenced to three years in prison in February 2017.
Rodriguez was sentenced to 110 years to life in prison in December 2010 for strangling his married neighbor, who had multiple sclerosis, after he caught her in bed with his 18-year-old son.
The Fullerton resident was convicted for the Oct. 15, 2006, strangulation death of 43-year-old Donna Dutton at the Streams apartment complex at 1251 Deerpark Drive.
Rodriguez also pleaded guilty in February 1997 to robbery and assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced then to four years in prison.
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