Wednesday November 25, 2020
“Inmates mock us”
Serial killers gamble heavily on Corona aid
Hundreds of millions of dollars are said to have flowed illegally to inmates of US prisons, including serial killers and prisoners sentenced to death, in a fraud complex. It is in the case of “one of the largest taxpayer fraud in the history of California”.
Prosecutors speak of one of the biggest fraud scandals in the history of California: Tens of thousands of prison inmates in the US state have illegally received unemployment benefits as part of a corona aid program. Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said at a press conference that California had deposited “hundreds of millions of dollars” in accounts in the names of prisoners.
It is one of the “largest taxpayer fraud in the history of California,” said Schubert, who chairs a working group to investigate the scandal. The payment of unemployment benefits to prison inmates in the amount of 140 million dollars (117 million euros) between March and August has already been proven, said Schubert. However, this is only a “snapshot”. The real cost of the fraud could potentially be 10 times higher.
More than $ 420,000 had gone to a total of 130 prisoners sentenced to death, including serial killer Wayne Ford and “Yosemite killer” Cary Stayner. “To put it bluntly: the inmates mock us,” said Schubert.
Rapists, child molesters and human traffickers
According to the initial findings of her working group, aid was given to “rapists and child molesters, human traffickers and other violent criminals in our state’s prisons”. Most of the illegally submitted applications for help were made out to the inmates’ real names.
According to Schubert, the fraud was possible because, unlike other states, California had not made a comparison between applications for unemployment benefits and prisoner registers since the beginning of the corona pandemic. In addition to illegal applications from prisoners, there were also fraudulent applications with fake names such as “John Doe”, the US equivalent for “Max Mustermann”.
California Governor Gavin Newsom described the events as “absolutely unacceptable” and announced that he would allocate “as many resources as necessary” to “resolve this case quickly”.