A man and woman were arrested in Glendale after officers found that they had 10 cards from the state unemployment agency that were in other people’s names, police said. Officers saw 34-year-old Stephan Morgan of Canoga Park standing between two cars in a parking lot in the area of San Fernando Road and Alameda Avenue and noticed that one of the vehicles had an expired registration, the Glendale Police Department said in a news release. Officers approached and spoke to the driver, 34-year-old Zenia West of Valley Village, discovering that she was on probation for vehicle theft and had a suspended driver’s license, police said. They searched her car and Morgan’s car, which were parked next to each other. Inside Morgan’s car, officers found a loaded, semi-automatic “ghost gun” with no serial numbers and a wallet that had nine Employment Development Department cards belonging to other people, police said. They also found multiple receipts for purchases and ATM cash withdrawals in “high dollar amounts” made using the cards, according to the news release. West claimed the wallet in Morgan’s car belonged to her, police said. In West’s car, police found another EDD card issued to someone else and multiple identity profiles of other people stored on her phone, according to the department.
Morgan was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and West was booked on suspicion of identity theft and possession of access cards with intent to defraud another, police said. Officials say there’s been growing evidence of possible widespread fraud in California’s unemployment benefits system, and the state is investigating bogus claims filed during the pandemic.