California officials says the state gave away at least $20 billion in fraudulent unemployment benefits.
That's about 11% of all benefits paid since the start of the pandemic. Officials blamed the mistake on a hastily approved expansion of unemployment benefits by Congress. “I don't think people have captured in their mind the enormity of the amount of money has been issued errantly to undeserving people,” said Assemblyman Tom Lackey, a Republican from Palmdale, who brought along an illustration of 29 dump trucks filled to the brim with $100 bills representing just over half of that money lost to fraud.
By January, in the wake of two state audits into dysfunction inside the department, the EDD gave a first, very broad estimate. That was for $11.9 billion paid out, with a possibility it could rise as high as $30 billion.EDD says they are investigating 700 cases of fraud across the state. However, police departments KCRA-3 Investigates has spoken with across California say they have hundreds of cases of their own.