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In California, prisoners turned a scam and received $ 40 million in unemployment benefits

In California, prisoners managed to get at least $ 400 million in unemployment benefits. How did they manage it, writes CBS8.

Photo: Shutterstock

State lawmakers are calling for public hearings in the mass fraud case.

Independent contractor Tyler Estabrook is one of the millions of unemployed people who depend on help.

“This help is really important to me now,” said Estabrook.

Estabrook was horrified to learn that unemployment benefits were being robbed on a large scale.

In Sacramento County alone, the sheriff estimates that 650 inmates have filed similar applications.

On the subject: Some states have overpaid unemployment benefits and want to be refunded

“Every inmate who has filed a fraudulent claim has an accomplice outside the prison,” said Sheriff Scott Jones. Most likely, friends or relatives were the accomplices.

Applications were filed even on behalf of 133 prisoners sentenced to death, writes Los Angeles Times.

In some cases, inmates may not have known that their identities were being used to apply for benefits.

State Senator Jim Nielsen noted that hundreds of thousands of unemployed Californians are still awaiting payments from EDD for legal claims.

“We learned that this huge amount of money was sent to criminals,” Nielsen said.

A task force has been formed to examine the magnitude of the problem.

“Let's make sure that the people who took this money from California residents are held accountable,” said Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County District Attorney.

Legislators said the State Employment Development Department (EDD) should be at the center of public hearings.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

“The whole culture of this department, its methods of working with information technology, its infrastructure, its staffing, its hiring - all of this needs to be studied,” said State Legislator David Chiu.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department, as well as the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, said they are currently under investigation and cannot provide further details.

“EDD works with groups of inmates to identify suspicious statements. In addition, EDD works with government cybersecurity experts, ”the department said.

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