California EDD: Unemployment fraud in state 4 times worse than first reported – Fresno, California

Fresno, California 2021-01-13 10:37:32 –

San Francisco-The total amount of unemployment funds stolen from California taxpayers in 2020 could exceed $ 8 billion. That’s four times the estimate just a month ago.

The numbers are staggering. An elusive solution. Even the states that allegedly cracked down on fraud had problems, as our sister station KGO-TV discovered.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we’ve shared countless stories of Californians desperate for unemployment benefits.

Exclusive: Insiders Say California EDD Unemployment Allowance Scam Was A Thousand Money Plan

A legitimate petitioner is mistaken for a fraudster.

“I’m trained to get rid of all the information because I can be a scammer,” said Ben Crimes of San Jose.

“They cut off the card. They didn’t even allow me to get the money I had already given to me with the card,” Hesperia’s Roxzan Macon told KGO-TV.

But those who don’t deserve the money are getting it.

Bank of America said last month that $ 2 billion was paid for fraudulent unemployment.

Related: Bank of America asks why they’re running out of EDD accounts and leaves them unanswered

But Robert Lapsley of the California Business Roundtable says the numbers are higher, or much higher.

Prior to the pandemic, the state revealed that more than 8% of all unemployment benefits paid between 2016 and 2019 went to fraudsters.

Last year, California paid $ 106 billion in EDD benefits.

“If you take the same numbers, the total scams are at least $ 8.5 billion,” Lapsley said.

Låpsley said it wasn’t enough to blow up the way the state handled the pandemic and prevent fraud early.

Related: California suspends 1.4 million COVID unemployment insurance claims

He admits that Pennsylvania cracked down on fraud early. The state said it was in close contact with other states on new fraudulent methods to prevent them from entering their state.

Pennsylvania also introduced the ID verification system ID.Me in October, the same month that California did.

Beyond that, we refused to disclose fraud prevention methods for security reasons.

However, state officials have acknowledged that the Pennsylvania issue reflects the California issue.

“The fraud began to spread just as we felt we had dealt with it,” said Jerry Oleksiak, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Labor.

Our sister office in Philadelphia, like us, says its unemployment sector has been accused of denying the benefits to the true unemployed. Meanwhile, California says it has reduced the number of fraudulent claims by 30%.

Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. all rights reserved.

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