Report Estimates Fraud Is “Plaguing” California’s Pandemic Unemployment Benefits System

If you think that the election is a mess, just remember that our nation is full of fraud-ridden, bloated bureaucracies that are disenfranchising voters and taxpayers alike.

COVID pandemic relief is certainly no different.

A new report from Bank of America, which contracts with the state of California, has estimated that more than $2 billion in fraud is “plaguing the state’s expanded pandemic unemployment benefits system,” according to The FEE Daily.

Bank of America has reportedly identified 640,000 potentially fraudulent accounts.


The Los Angeles Times reports, “The bank said there were also ‘numerous cases’ in which multiple cards, including hundreds in some instances, have been sent to a single mailing address.”

“Other issues identified include multiple cards using a common contact phone number or address, and benefits issued to infants or children as well as centenarians or other elderly people not likely to be working.”

Just days prior to this discovery, state officials admitted they sent “an estimated $400 million in fraudulent unemployment benefits to current prisoners.” The Times says that this “tsunami” of fraudulent money is “fueling street crime” as the funds end up in criminal enterprises and gangs.

The FEE Daily notes that California’s dysfunctional, fraud-ride unemployment system is no exception. This is a trend being seen all over the country.

When Congress passed the COVID-19 stimulus bill back in March, it opened up unemployment benefits to individuals who would not normally be eligible, it also added an additional $600 weekly supplement to existing state-determined payouts.

The rush to get Americans money immediately was done so sloppily and hastily that an “astounding $26 billion was lost to fraud.” The FEE Daily puts it in context saying, “that’s more lost to fraud alone this year than the entire unemployment system paid out in 2019.”

The FEE notes one particularly shocking example in Michigan in which unemployment worker Brandi Hawkins was brought up on charges for allegedly distributing more than $2 million in fraudulent funds. That’s $2 million in just one case. Imagine how many more cases like this happened around the country.

This is what happens when the government is too big and progressives demand it provide all of our needs for us. As The FEE Daily points out, “As long as California voters keep voting for progressive legislators who think the government can solve all our problems, billions of their dollars will keep getting flushed down the drain.”

This is also what happens when you get to use other people’s money.

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