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California: Criminal rings loot billions in jobless funds

California Unemployment Fraud
Posted at 8:26 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 23:26:54-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California officials say hackers, identity thieves, and overseas criminal rings stole an estimated $11.4 billion in unemployment benefits from California last year.

But the extent of the fraud might grow far larger: billions more in jobless payments are under investigation.

California Labor Secretary Julie Su told reporters in a conference call Monday that of the $114 billion the state has paid in unemployment claims, about 10% has been confirmed as fraudulent. Nearly $20 billion more is considered suspicious.

Su says the state did not have sufficient security measures in place and criminals took advantage of the gaps.