California Unemployment: EDD investigating 255 criminal claims, sharp increase from 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's been a problematic year for California's Employment Development Department.

And that's reflected in the number of criminal investigations.

There are currently 255 cases.

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Last year at this time, there were 14 cases.

While there aren't specific statistics, there have been numerous reports on fraud including a recent revelation that prison inmates were getting paid for claims.

It is estimated the cost could be in the billions.

In another revelation, just last week, ABC7 News reported thousands of self-employed and gig workers might have to pay back unemployment benefits they have already received.

Problems began last April when gig workers and the self-employed first applied for unemployment.

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Benefits were supposed to be based on their net income in 2019. But in all the confusion of an unprecedented program, many reported their gross income instead.

That caused EDD to pay them too much.

Now, the agency wants the extra money back.

Click here for the latest coverage on unemployment in California

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