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California gets $1.1B back in likely fraudulent benefits

(KYMA, KECY/ AP News) - In California, about $1.1 billion in unused unemployment benefits that was most likely attempted fraud during the pandemic returned to the state on Tuesday. 

The money had been sitting on 780,000 Bank of America debit cards that were never used. State officials worked with Bank of America to make sure those benefits did not belong to people with legitimate claims who were just having difficulty activating their cards.

Once they were satisfied, the government took the money back.

Before the pandemic, less than $10 million per year in unused benefits returned to the state. But Tuesday, the Newsom Administration announced it was $1.1 billion from 2020 alone - a sign of the size and scale of fraud that targeted the nation’s most populous state.

Tuesday’s announcement was the largest to date of likely fraudulent unemployment claims in California.

AP News

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Cole Johnson

Cole grew up in a small town of just over 3,000 people called Moravia, NY—home of President Millard Fillmore and Fillmore Glen State Park.

He is eager to wake up every morning with the Desert Southwest and give viewers the greatest coverage to start their day.

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