SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The scale of the unemployment fraud involving California state prison inmates has grown to a staggering $400 million. That's nearly triple the amount prosecutors first disclosed last week.
The new number comes from the California Employment Development Department comparing its unemployment claims data to inmates' Social Security numbers.
In all, records show about 31,000 inmates applied for benefits. About 20,800 were paid about $400 million.
The rest were unpaid claims totaling about $80 million. The new number is higher because it includes the base unemployment benefit and additional aid Congress approved during the pandemic.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said he is "deeply alarmed." He said bad actors abused the system.