Prosecutors have revealed this week that tens of thousands of prisoners are involved in plans to steal more than $ 1 billion in unemployment benefits.
Related: DA states that at least 35,000 CA unemployment insurance claims have been filed against prison inmates, including Scott Peterson.
People like Matthew Wilson who are having a hard time paying for food are indignant.
“We’ve arrived at the final package of ramen,” Wilson said. “I was still struggling and was told that it might take 12-14 weeks to get back on track.”
Wilson is one of the tens of thousands of Californians suffering from unemployment. His claim was flagged as a scam last month, and he hasn’t seen the dime yet.
“I don’t know what to do,” he said.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in five counties across the state have said claims have been successfully paid in the names of tens of thousands of prisoners throughout the state since March.
Details: EDD accidentally gets $ 10,000 from a sci-fi male account to fight suspicion of fraud
“Prisoners aren’t the only ones involved because the information is shared with outsiders,” said Anne-Marie Schubert, a Sacramento County district attorney. “It’s the outsiders because someone has to receive the money.”
Schubert is one of the principal investigators working on the state-wide proceedings. She explains that most prisoners require partners outside the prison to file unemployment insurance claims with their Social Security numbers.
“Can they call friends and family and submit the files on my behalf? We know what’s happening due to prison communications,” she said.
In other cases, according to Schubert, prisoners file claims from within prison.
“They can often make claims using prison phones,” she said. “If they are in jail, they can use a contraband phone. It’s an illegal phone.”
Exclusive: Insiders Reveal How Scammers Steal Millions Of Dollars With California Unemployment Allowance
From there, an EDD debit card is sent to the address where the criminal is betting to access the money. In rare cases, money may have been sent directly to prison.
From March to August, 35,000 claims were filed in the name of a California prison inmate. This includes the names of 133 death sentence prisoners like Scott Peterson.
Stephanie: “Is there any evidence to suggest that Scott Peterson was actually involved in this?”
Schubert: “I generally say that the claim was clearly submitted in the name of the individual because there is a well-known name on the list.”
Schubert also pointed out that he did not prove that he was directly involved just because Peterson’s name was mentioned.
“There are different ways, and it’s important for people to understand them,” she said. “Just because John Doe’s name is on the list doesn’t mean that John Doe did it himself, but that he was involved … or someone else gave him his identity. It may mean that you got it. “
Related: “People need help”: One-third of EDD’s claims are fraudulent, security companies say
Governor Newsom announced on Tuesday that the Emergency Services Department would launch a task force to support further investigations by local district attorneys.
State legislature Jim Paterson (R-Fresno) says that’s not enough.
“Governor, get your head out of the French Laundry and get the job done,” Patterson said.
Patterson belongs to the Budget Subcommittee that oversees EDD. He believes that agencies can help foster fraud.
“I think EDD is like a dim accomplice to all of this,” he said. “They knew about this. They were warned about this by a continuous review of California auditors months and years ago, and they absolutely did nothing.”
Video: DA explains how San Mateo County prison inmates earned $ 250,000 in EDD benefits
Now people like Wilson are paying the price.
“Thanksgiving is tomorrow, Christmas is a month away, and some people are forced to evict … people who have cars and couldn’t afford to pay,” Wilson said.
The prosecution said it was virtually impossible to recover the money sent as part of the operation.
ABC7 contacted the governor for further comment, but his office says the Task Force is already in talks with the district attorney to create a cross-reference system. The idea is to reflect what’s available in 35 other states that allow prison inmate data to be checked in EDD’s claims.
ABC7 I-Team has tried several times to reach EDD but has not yet responded.
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EDD SCAM: Prosecutors reveal how Scott Peterson’s name may be linked to California unemployment fraud scheme Source link EDD SCAM: Prosecutors reveal how Scott Peterson’s name may be linked to California unemployment fraud scheme