NewsLocal News


California inmate charged with unemployment benefits fraud

jail cell bars
Posted at 4:53 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 20:26:28-05

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A California prisoner is one of two people accused of stealing more than $100,000 in unemployment benefits.

It's the latest allegation related to what authorities say is a multibillion-dollar fraud aided by lax safeguards at a state agency.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that an inmate at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla named Alana Powers was indicted by a federal grand jury, along with Jason Vertz of Fresno.

They say neither has yet listed a defense attorney. State officials say the state has paid at least $11 billion to people whose identities it has been unable to verify, with $810 million paid in the names of ineligible prisoners.