On Tuesday, a federal prosecutor stated that inmates have stolen as much as $1 billion dollars in pandemic unemployment aid.
“Tens of thousands of inmates: local, state, and federal institutions all involved,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
The attorney said that 35,000 claims were filed in the name of California inmates. And 20,000 have already been paid, as of August.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars that may well amount to upwards of a $1 billion having already been paid in their names. It is perhaps and will be one of the biggest fraud of taxpayer dollars in California history,” Schubert said.
Schubert said the highest number of claims filed on behalf of a single inmate is 16 claims, and the total amount paid out for that snapshot is over 140 million dollars.
She also said that 133 claims were made from death row inmates. The highest single claim paid was almost $20,000.
“There is both inmate fraud on their own regard, working in conjunction with people on the outside, on a massive scale. We also know that there is likely identity theft,” Schubert said.