In 2009, convicted felon Robert Langley (a.k.a "Bobby") and Navesia Samuels thought they'd concocted a foolproof criminal plan in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The pair invented imaginary businesses, imaginary employees, imaginary payrolls, and then abused American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) and government disability coffers with fraudulent unemployment claims.
With the aid of the FBI, California Department of Insurance and the inspector general at the Social Security Administration, a special agent with the United States Department of Labor assigned to probe labor racketeering unraveled the conspiracy and filed charges last year.
Langley, who was born in 1965, eventually signed a guilty plea and hoped for a sentence of one year--a punishment approved by a federal prosecutor inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.
But this month, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna apparently wasn't in the mood for any sweetheart deal.
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According to court records, Selna decided that Langley, a self-employed auto broker who was also convicted of fraud in 1992, deserved a tougher punishment: 21 months in prison.
The swindler must also pay more than $113,000 in restitution.
Samuels, the accomplice who was born in 1979, pleaded guilty first and, instead of being sent to prison, is attending a criminal diversion program, according to court records.