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Inmates file fraudulent unemployment claims estimated to cost state $1B

Original post made on Nov 25, 2020

A collaborative investigation across California has found inmates filed 35,003 fraudulent claims for federal funding to assist people out of work due to the pandemic.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 9:08 AM

Comments (12)

54 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2020 at 9:55 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

This makes my blood boil. All the hardworking people who are struggling, and murderers, rapists, etc. are getting away with unemployment fraud. How did they get away with it using their own names? They haven't worked in years, and to collect unemployment you have to have wages. And, yes -- there should be crosschecking. This was preventable.


36 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 25, 2020 at 10:28 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"They haven't worked in years, and to collect unemployment you have to have wages."

^ Do minimal prison wages (i.e. for working in kitchen/laundry services, making license plates etc. ) qualify for EDD benefits in the event of a lay-off or reduced work hours due to the pandemic?


5 people like this
Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2020 at 9:26 pm

taxpayer is a registered user.

Inmates filed 35,003 fraudulent claims through the EDD? Article says Scott Peterson was one of them. Where can I find a listing of the other 35,002 names?


37 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 26, 2020 at 8:14 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"Inmates filed 35,003 fraudulent claims through the EDD?"

^ Curious...how do the inmates who filed for EDD benefits go about cashing their unemployment checks & where can they go shopping outside of a prison commissary?


7 people like this
Posted by Squidsie
a resident of another community
on Nov 26, 2020 at 8:35 pm

Squidsie is a registered user.

Question: Why aren't applicants cross-checked against IRS records to make sure that they have actually been employed and earning money? It would be pretty easy to verify income and address in just a moment.


7 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 26, 2020 at 10:18 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

This is infuriating, not publicized as much as it ought to be to busy and distracted taxpayers. Hard to believe how incompetent many CA politicians and bureaucrats are, though I admit I actually had a reasonable experience with CA DMV when I got my Real ID.
But really, from the condescending hypocrite Governor Newsom to the staggering waste of taxpayer dollars, we need audits, streamlining and tightening of CA government ops...I’m not too hopeful...look at State Senator Scott Weiner’s constant outrageous bills. No wonder so many are leaving this state. VERY close to killing the golden goose of Silicon Valley.


23 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 27, 2020 at 7:40 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"...from the condescending hypocrite Governor Newsom to the staggering waste of taxpayer dollars,"

^ Add 'always smiling' to Governor Newsom's description as well.

No worries on his part, just more statewide proclamations for the public good...along with personal & private exemptions for himself & associates (including family).


2 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2020 at 9:32 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

Where do inmates cash their checks? EDD cards were sent to friends/family members, and cash was withdrawn from ATMs. Money sent from EDD should be checks only, and ID should be required to cash them.

I'll never understand how honest people are not having their EDD claims approved, and the state is easily sending money to criminals.


33 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 27, 2020 at 10:56 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"EDD cards were sent to friends/family members, and cash was withdrawn from ATMs. Money sent from EDD should be checks only, and ID should be required to cash them."

^ Concurring...blame the pandemic & ease of access protocols enacted by CA EDD bureaucrats who did not scrutinize the recipients.

>"I'll never understand how honest people are not having their EDD claims approved, and the state is easily sending money to criminals."

^ And many legitimate recipients are still waiting to have their claims processed...in many ways, this lack of oversight on the part of the CA EDD is contributing to further criminal activity.

Then again & given the outcome, most of these bureaucrats & office workers could probably care less...as long as they keep the paperwork moving & are ensured of their retirement benefits.

>"Only in CA - the degree of incompetence is breath taking."

^ That goes without saying.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 27, 2020 at 10:57 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Only in CA - the degree of incompetence is breath taking. What CA employee signed off on this? A relative of one of the prisoners? We need names of the people that allowed this to happen. They need to go to jail.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 28, 2020 at 8:22 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

The write-up in the papers today on this issue is staggering. This state sets up organizations that are funded by taxpayer dollars to help people and what happens is- giant rip-offs. And the rip-offs just keep expanding from topic to topic. One rip-off after another. Include Caltrans which takes home for highways that never get built - empty homes sitting there. Valuable farmland for the HSR that is taken by eminent domain - now just sitting there. If nothing else we need to be very vigilant now on how our taxpayer dollars are spent and by who. Letting organizations that are set up to correct problems are out of control. That includes ABAG who needs a through audit.


16 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 30, 2020 at 11:03 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

> "Why aren't applicants cross-checked against IRS records to make sure that they have actually been employed and earning money? It would be pretty easy to verify income and address in just a moment."

^ One would think that verifying the actual address of a state prison inmate shouldn't pose a serious obstacle for an EDD case worker. Then again...

And as far as cross-referencing their earnings in relation to EDD benefits...

"The wages range from $0.30 to $0.95 per hour. In 1990, California passed Proposition 139, also known as the Prison Inmate Labor Initiative."

"Prison Labor in California State Prisons | AFSC Investigate" Web Link.

The $1B allocated towards 35,000 inmate-related EDD benefits was a 'windfall' for the incarcerees who filed for unemployment & chances are, these monies will never be fully recovered.


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