Inmates in jails and prisons across California have scammed the Employment Development Department out of hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent unemployment claims. Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert called it “the most significant fraud on taxpayer funds in California history.”
Schubert says investigators are still trying to assess the damage, but the eventual fraud total could exceed as much as $1 billion. She says fraudulent claims were made on behalf of some of California’s most notorious killers and rapists, including Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn child. California has paid out about $140 million to inmates in benefits. Schubert says prisoners who participated in the scam will have to pay it back in restitution.