Inmates in California received $1 billion in pandemic unemployment aid through fraudulent claims, a group of district attorneys and federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said that a multi-agency investigation discovered 35,000 unemployment claims filed in the name of California state prison inmates between March and August, describing the scheme as “the biggest fraud of taxpayer dollars in California history.”
“It’s not just about the money that’s been stolen. It’s about the fact that we need to turn off the spigot, which means that we should not continue to pay these convicted felons who are in prison,” Schubert said.
The investigation found fraudulent claims filed under the names and social security numbers at jails as well as state and federal prisons.
Inmates who received the aid included serial killers Cary Stayner and Wayne Ford, and Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his wife in 2004.
A total of $140 million was sent to 133 death row inmates between March and August including a claim as large as $48,600. SOVEREIGNPH