I went back and read your story. Based on the very little I know, I want to again encourage you to seek consultation with a criminal attorney prior to speaking to the Edd. Simply put, they’re actively gathering information against you & your husband. There is already some sort of flag on your account. It is too late to undo what is done. You really need to put equal effort into preparing your defense because that’s what it is at this point. I’m not saying it will come to a criminal trial. That is hopefully not likely but the more missteps you make, the more likely that particular outcome. As others mentioned, there is very little chance you could actually speak to someone helpful via edd phones anyway as it is increasingly difficult to even get a tier 1 rep to take your call. You would want to talk to someone in a dept that probably doesn’t take calls. Depending on where they are in your investigation, they may not even be willing to take your call. They have procedures they have to follow too. It is comforting to think we have some control over situations like this but the reality is that you don’t have little right now. My advisement may have been different if it was prior to the work audit. You may have had more control then but, at this point, things are in motion & none of it is likely to shift course just because you call to unburden your conscience. Chances are that the stress of it causes you to stumble & say something that gets you into even more hot water. The fact that you certified for your husband without his knowledge all of those weeks is not great. You need to find a reputable, official criminal attorney to discuss this with in a protected environment. Tell them that you talked to Reddit, too, because now that this story is out there, it’s out there. It is very likely they occasionally - if not regularly - scan these groups for information. You’ve given a lot of identifying information here; possibly enough to link your story to your case. To be blunt, your emotions & remorse don’t matter right now, your behaviors do & they could make the difference between this being a lesson learned & a devastating experience. Sincerely, best of luck.
Also, if you’re feeling charitable, you could refer your friend to someone as well. It sounds like she misinterpreted pua. If you had to leave a job to stay at home & take care of kids who were out of school, you were eligible to claim pua for the period of time for which the schools were closed. If she had not worked in 3 years, she was not eligible for pua. To receive it, she had to have reported she earned income in 2019 from self employment. Lots of things counted, as long as they were documented, like gig work or having a profitable Etsy shop. However, no one got it without reporting an income. Those will have to be proven this year. Those who can’t prove it are likely to be subject to payback. If anything shifty transpired, they may be subject to criminal charges too. It’s going to be a big fight because some govt officials, like DSS, encouraged their clients to file for pua when they weren’t necessarily eligible. It may be govt agency against govt agency in some situations. Regardless, you wouldn’t have been eligible for this one either & unless your friend had verifiable self employment income in 2019, neither is she justifiably collecting benefits. It’s possible that others around her are doing the same. It’s also possible that if she encouraged others to do it, that could fall back on her in a negative way. I’ve seen several cases on our local news of 2-3 people being arrested over a single claim. Usually, it is the person receiving the benefits & the person who filed the claim for them or used their address or some other form of assisting that suspected fraud. That’s why I take your post so seriously too. There’s a lot of ways your situation could tilt out of your favor. You need professional advisement. All of us here are just guessing. Also, for the anxiety, maybe speak to a therapist. In California, they aren’t allowed to report suspected criminal activity unless it involves a child, a vulnerable adult, or some other immediate danger situation. In a rare case, they could be pressured by the court but I don’t see how that would be an option in your case if you start seeing them now, after the claims stopped. Therapy is probably a safer space than Reddit. Again, best of luck.