CA EDD admits paying as much as $31 billion in unemployment funds to criminals

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021
As much as $31B EDD funds paid to scammers, officials say
CA EDD admits that as much as $31 billion in unemployment funds were stolen from California taxpayers in 2020, nearly four times more than previously estimated.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As much as $31 billion in California unemployment funds have been paid out to scammers, California EDD admits.

ABC7 News' 7 On Your Side has been tracking the numerous fraudulent claims that have been plaguing the EDD and on Monday afternoon, it confirmed that even more money than previously reported has been paid out to scammers.

RELATED: 'People need help': As many as 1 in every 3 EDD claims is fraudulent, security firm says

In an EDD conference call, Julie Su, secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency said, "Of the 114 billion dollars in unemployment paid by California since March, approximately 10% has been confirmed as fraudulent. An additional 17% of the paid claims have been identified as potentially fraudulent."

That's $11.4 billion confirmed and as much as $20 billion more in fraud.

"There is no sugar coating the reality, California did not have sufficient security measures in place to prevent this level of fraud," Su said.

EXCLUSIVE: Insiders say California EDD unemployment benefit scam was get-rich-quick scheme

It's a story you'll only see on ABC7 News: More local charges are likely to be filed in an inmate unemployment benefits scam sweeping the country.

The EDD says it is working to verify the identities of people who made claims and many remain under investigation.

A few weeks prior, 7 On Your Side found that more than $8 billion unemployment funds were stolen from California taxpayers in 2020, four times higher than estimated in December.

Su, is expected to be nominated for the US Labor Department by President Biden, Bloomberg reports.

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