TACOMA, Wash. (AP/KOIN) — Prosecutors say a former employee of Washington state’s Employment Security Department has pleaded guilty to three federal felonies.
Reyes De La Cruz III of Moses Lake pleaded guilty Wednesday to crimes in which he exploited his employment for personal enrichment and fraudulently distributed at least $360,000 in pandemic-related unemployment benefits, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. De La Cruz reportedly personally enriched himself by at least $130,000.
Court records say he was hired to help the Employment Security Department deal with the crush of filings for pandemic unemployment benefits.
The plea agreement says De La Cruz will face around six years in prison when sentenced in September.
He has remained in federal custody since his 2021 arrest.