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Dad, girlfriends charged with collecting killer's unemployment

March 5, 2012 | 11:27 am

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Three people were charged Monday with helping collect more than $20,000 in unemployment benefits for a convicted killer who landed behind bars because of a murder scene tattoo he had etched on his chest, prosecutors said.

The father and two girlfriends of 26-year-old Anthony Garcia, who is serving a 65-years-to-life sentence for murder, are accused of burglary, false statements and conspiracy to commit grand theft, according to prosecutors. Juan Garcia, 47, Sandra Jaimez, 45, and Cynthia Limas, 25, are due to appear in a Whittier court for arraignment Monday, prosecutors said.

No new charges were filed against the younger Garcia, who confessed to the 2004 murder outside a Pico Rivera liquor store after an investigator recognized the scene on his tattoo four years later. He is being held in Men’s Central Jail, according to the sheriff department’s inmate system.

The three defendants are accused of cashing checks from October 2008 to August 2010, and filing change of address forms on Anthony Garcia’s behalf, according to prosecutors. Some of the money was deposited to his jail account and also shared with other gang members, prosecutors said.

The three face a special allegation that the crime was committed for the benefit of a street gang, which could lead to heftier sentences, prosecutors said. Anthony Garcia, according to police, was a member of the Rivera-13 gang.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said in a statement that the state lacks “effective methods” to detect and prevent bogus claims like Garcia’s.

“It’s no wonder the state is facing such financial difficulties,” he said. “Taxpayer money is being given away to criminals and others who don’t deserve these benefits.”

Prosecutors said the older Garcia could face up to 30 years and four months in state prison. Jaimez and Limas, who prosecutors said were both girlfriends of Anthony Garcia, each face up to 25 years and four months, and seven years in prison, respectively.

RELATED:

Killer got $30,000 in unemployment while in jail, officials say

Gang tattoo leads to a murder conviction

--Victoria Kim
twitter.com/vicjkim

Photo: Anthony Garcia. Credit: L.A. County Sheriff's Department

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