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Crime California GOP Slams State Unemployment Dept for Death Row Inmates Getting Benefits

00:50  25 november  2020
00:50  25 november  2020 Source:   newsweek.com

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States will take months to get this up while still processing historic new claims,” Evermore wrote. “The fact that low income folks are getting more on UI is a good Unless Congress reaches a deal to avoid a lapse in additional federal payments, state unemployment benefits will revert to the pre-pandemic

A group of state and federal prosecutors on Tuesday warned that up to billion may have been paid to inmates incarcerated in California 's Serial killer Cary Stayner and Isauro Aguirre, who tortured and murdered Gabriel Fernandez also allegedly received unemployment benefits in recent months.

The California Republican Party slammed the state's Employment Development Department (EDD) on Tuesday after an investigation uncovered more than $400,000 of state benefits paid to inmates on death row, while millions of dollars more were given to other incarcerated individuals.

a group of people standing in front of a building: A guard stands at the entrance to the California State Prison at San Quentin January 22, 2007 in San Quentin, California. On Tuesday, nine California district attorney's and a federal prosecutor alleged that the state has given over $400,000 worth of unemployment benefits to individuals on death row, as well as millions of dollars to other incarcerated individuals throughout the state. © Justin Sullivan/Getty A guard stands at the entrance to the California State Prison at San Quentin January 22, 2007 in San Quentin, California. On Tuesday, nine California district attorney's and a federal prosecutor alleged that the state has given over $400,000 worth of unemployment benefits to individuals on death row, as well as millions of dollars to other incarcerated individuals throughout the state.

The state GOP called out Governor Gavin Newsom after nine district attorneys and a federal prosecutor in California alleged massive unemployment fraud in jails and prisons throughout the state.

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Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is one of the federal CARES Act provisions that helps unemployed Californians who are not usually eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits . This includes business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those

Your unemployment claim expired. Get an Estimate. Use the UI Benefit Calculator to estimate how much you may receive in unemployment . If you filed for unemployment within the last 52 weeks (12 months) and have not exhausted your benefits , you must reopen your claim to restart your benefits .

"Millions of law-abiding Californians STILL haven't received unemployment benefits, but @GavinNewsom's administration puts death-row inmates on their top priority list. Wow," the California GOP tweeted.

The fraud was committed in a number of ways, according to the district attorneys. Some claims were submitted by inmates directly, while others were done by family or friends. In some instances, inmates may have not known their names were being submitted for benefits, while other cases involved large-scale schemes from organized criminal groups, reported the Los Angeles Times Tuesday. According to a letter obtained by the news outlet, the district attorneys called the situation "the most significant fraud on taxpayer funds in California history."

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Provides an overview of the California Unemployment Insurance Program, which provides workers When authorized by the President of the United States , Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) may also be available for workers and self-employed people who do not qualify for regular UI benefits .

For Your Benefit : California ’s Programs for the Unemployed Describes EDD services and is issued to Getting Back to Work After a Trade-Related Layoff Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits and Unemployment Insurance Application Complete this application to file or reopen a claim for UI

According to Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, investigations have so far uncovered more than $400,000 in benefits paid to death row inmates, and more than $140 million to other incarcerated people throughout California's 38 prisons.

The data also showed that more than 100 death row inmates had 158 unemployment claims in their names, and one inmate received over $19,000.

The attorneys have stated that, in total, fraudulent payments made under the names of incarcerated people in prisons and jails could reach nearly $1 billion, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Among those who allegedly received benefits are high-profile serial killers Cary Stayner and Wayne Ford, who each killed at least four people in the state in the late '90s, as well as Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife in 2004, and Isauro Aguirre, who with his girlfriend tortured and murdered her 8-year-old son in 2013.

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The federal CARES Act expands unemployment benefits to people affected by COVID-19. If you are not eligible for regular unemployment , learn more about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance here While you receive benefits , your job is to get back to work as quickly as possible.

Did you file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistace (PUA) and now you are confused about your payouts - why are certain claims still marked as pending and when

"The murderers and rapists and human traffickers should not be getting this money," Schubert said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It needs to stop."

In response, Gov. Newsom said the fraud was "unacceptable" and announced the development of a task force to address the problem.

"Unemployment fraud across local jails and state and federal prisons is absolutely unacceptable," he stated.

But state officials, both Republican and Democratic, have pointed fingers at Newsom's administration and the EDD for failing to prevent the fraud.

GOP state senator Melissa Melendez called for every top level administrator in the EDD to be fired immediately.

"I have constituents who STILL haven't received the unemployment benefits they're entitled to and now we learn death row inmates are getting benefits? Everyone top level administrator in EDD should be fired immediately," she tweeted Tuesday.

Cottie Petrie-Norris, a Democrat and chair of the state's Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, told the Los Angeles Times that the "ineptitude at EDD knows no bounds."

Scott Peterson, thousands of California inmates carried out 'staggering' Covid fraud, officials say

  Scott Peterson, thousands of California inmates carried out 'staggering' Covid fraud, officials say “The fraud is honestly staggering,” a prosecutor said.The alleged crimes, which center on pandemic unemployment benefits, could total as much $1 billion, Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

"This latest report of widespread EDD fraud by inmates is particularly outrageous because this is a very simple problem to solve. EDD must stop squandering taxpayer dollars and immediately implement these simple, common-sense fraud prevention steps. Anything less a total dereliction of responsibility," she added.

In a statement on its website, the EDD said it's "aggressively fighting fraud in the wake of unscrupulous attacks on the unemployment program here in California and across the country."

Newsweek reached out to the EDD for additional comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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GAO: Unemployment benefits fell below poverty line in 13 states .
Thirteen states have allowed unemployment benefits to fall below the poverty level of $245 a week, or $12,760 a year, according to a study released Monday by the Government Accountability Office.The change has occurred since the the end of July, when a federal program providing $600 in supplemental weekly benefits expired.The CARES Act signed into law in March provided the weekly $600 payments to all unemployment benefit recipients. The amount was an attempt to bridge the difference between average weekly payments that came in at $333 per week, and median income.

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