In a startling revelation, it appears that some New York State inmates have been receiving unemployment benefits while incarcerated. Apparently eleven inmates in various penitentiaries collected over $30,000 in unemployment benefits. This came as the state comptroller and auditor froze payments of over $18.000 destined to be disbursed to these inmates.
The state was looking into how exactly these individuals were able to get benefits while behind bars. Some sources said that it was likely that these inmates were working with people on the outside that had access to their personal information. As part of the requirement for receiving jobless benefits, individuals must be ready to go to work and be actively looking for work, meaning that individuals must have been appearing on their behalf, or phoning in job search records for the inmates as they collected.
The fraud was only caught after a the jobless benefit records were compared against the prison logs for the year 2008. Defrauding the state is a felony offense, meaning that it is likely that these jailed individuals will see another set of charges attached to their rap sheet.