(RightWing.org) – California taxpayers who wonder where their money is going got some more bad news in November, when a state official admitted that unemployment fraud in the state’s prisons is three times higher than previous estimates. The true scale of the fraud was buried by a California law designed to protect inmates – nobody seems to care about protecting taxpayers.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims were filed in California under the names of inmates, in what officials said "appears to be the most significant fraud on taxpayer funds" in the state's history.https://t.co/m6lofRBZJB
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 24, 2020
Sacramento County DA Anne Marie Schubert announced that an investigation had unearthed 35,000 unemployment benefit claims made by inmates between March and August this year — and almost 21,000 of them had been paid. Schubert said the California Employment Development Department enables the scam because they don’t check claims against the state’s inmate list.
Originally, officials estimated the cost of the fraud at around $140 million. However, investigators finally used a subpoena to force the corrections department to hand over a list of prisoners’ Social Security numbers; matching that against claims showed a loss of at least $400 million, and more cases are still being uncovered.
Governor Gavin Newsom (D) said he was “deeply alarmed” by the news, although he’s probably not as alarmed as ordinary Californians who’ve been paying benefits to cons, including 133 death row inmates. Schubert told reporters, “Frankly, the inmates are mocking us.”
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