More than $400M in unemployment payments went to California inmates this year

The state of California sent roughly $400 million in fraudulent unemployment payments to state prisoners – nearly triple the amount disclosed last week, after nine district attorneys and a U.S. Attorney announced the state was impeding their investigation.

The state approved fraudulent applications submitted on behalf of roughly 31,000 inmates, prosecutors discovered, made possible in part by inmates working with individuals outside of prisons.

Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said prosecutors “have quite a bit of evidence that the inmates are in on it,” referring to recorded phone calls made by inmates in prison who bragged about how much money they and their families
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