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CA Unemployment Benefits Sent To Out-Of-State Prisoners

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Sacramento, CA — Over $40-million designed to help those who lost their jobs due the coronavirus pandemic instead went to inmates in out-of-state prisons and jails.

The Associated Press reports that the state earlier acknowledged that the Employment Development Department was bilked out of hundreds of millions of dollars that went to fraudsters, including people who submitted claims in the name of people like Senator Dianne Feinstein.

However, the latest analysis commissioned by California’s EDD found that more than 6,000 claims, totaling $42-million, involved at least 2,000 people incarcerated at Florida county jails and prisons.  One person serving time for first-degree murder was sent $10,800 in payments from the state.

The EDD reports that its expedited efforts to approve claims, without safeguards, combined with expanded benefits coming from Congress, made it easier for criminals to game the system. The agency says they have started to halt payments on some earlier approved claims until they can be verified.