SACRAMENTO — A rash of fraudulent pandemic unemployment claims filed under the names of jail and prison inmates, including more than 100 on death row, has bilked California out of hundreds of millions of dollars, a law enforcement task force said Tuesday.
In a letter to Gov.
Gavin Newsom, the task force, led by district attorneys from San Diego to Fresno County, asked for “significant resources” to combat “what appears to be the most significant fraud on taxpayer funds in California history,” and wrote that claims had been paid under the names of tens of thousands of incarcerated Californians.
In most cases, task force members said, the payments were sent in the form of prepaid debit cards to addresses designated on the applications and later deposited to inmate accounts in jail and prisons, but in some, the benefits were sent directly to the institutions.
Among the named beneficiaries: Cary Stayner, a serial killer who murdered four women near Yosemite National Park in 1999; Wayne Ford, another serial killer, who confessed to at least four murders in 1997 and 1998 in Northern California; and Isauro Aguirre, who, with his girlfriend, tortured and murdered her 8-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez, in 2013 in Palmdale, Calif.
Gavin Newsom, ”, Cary Stayner, Wayne Ford, Isauro Aguirre, Gabriel Fernandez
California, San Diego, Fresno County, Yosemite, Northern California, Palmdale, Calif