State senators and assembly members have already become one of the few ways that unemployed people can get through to EDD. But does the typical Californian know that they can turn to their legislator for help?
As a result of a class action lawsuit, the EDD must now stop its policy of freezing benefits for people whose existing claims have eligibility questions and instead continue sending checks while they investigate the problem.
Federal officials said the two inmates worked from their respective correctional facilities at Kern Valley State Prison and California Correctional Institute in coordination with someone on the outside to submit false unemployment claims.
More than 100 false claims to California’s Employment Development Department netted $1 million for eight people, and five of them also got more than $60,000 that they weren’t due from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, officials said.
Prosecutors allege that the men, who had met in prison, bilked mainly homeless people or transients who were living off Social Security or disability payments by pretending to counsel them.
Two USPS employees, Christian Jeremyah James and Armand Caleb Legardy, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to federal criminal charges accusing them of unlawfully buying and cashing tens of thousands of dollars' worth of postal money orders with unemployment benefits fraudulently obtained with false claims of COVID-related job losses.
EDD claimants are learning that when a year's worth of claims have been collected, they're terminated unless they jump through a bureaucratic hoop. EDD says it was just a glitch.
Three Inland Empire women were arrested and charged this week for illegally obtaining COVID-related unemployment benefits in names of prison inmates and scamming the California Employment Development Department out of a combined $1.2 million, federal prosecutors allege.
Officials say the state has paid at least $11 billion in benefits to people whose identities it has been unable to verify, which they say is likely fraud. Of that, $810 million was tied to ineligible prisoners.
California State Auditor Elaine Howle said the agency was slow to react to warnings of an increase in fraudulent claims, saying this inaction cost the state billions as criminals exposed weaknesses in the system.
Auditor Elaine Howle told the governor that as a result, more than 800,000 people waited longer than 21 days—EDD's measure of how quickly it should process a claim—to receive their first benefit payments.
Criminal rings stole over $11 billion in unemployment benefits from California last year and nearly $20 billion more is considered suspicious.
California is reporting a surge in coronavirus unemployment claims last week for independent contractors, gig workers and the self-employed — the category of benefits blamed for much of the state’s fraudulent payments.
More than $40 million in California funding intended to help people left jobless by the coronavirus pandemic probably went to inmates in out-of-state jails and prisons, officials said.
As more Americans became unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic, EDD fraud and theft skyrocketed.
An arraignment was scheduled Friday for a Pasadena man who faces federal charges after he allegedly used stolen identities to steal unemployment insurance benefits and then used the funds to purchase a Maserati SUV.
The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry on Wednesday warned of a new text scam created by thieves that attempts to trick people into disclosing bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.
More than two dozen people have been arrested since Sept. 10 in Torrance for alleged unemployment benefits fraud and identity theft, police reported Wednesday.
At least 350,000 debit cards filled with money for unemployment benefits in California have been frozen because of suspected fraud, state officials said, revealing how prevalent the problem has become now that the state has paid more than $105 billion in benefits since March.
A woman was arrested at a Riverside courthouse last week for allegedly stealing several identities to fraudulently obtain EDD unemployment benefits, authorities said Monday.