A widespread fraud scheme has been operating from inside prison walls. “Quite frankly, the inmates are mocking us.” District attorneys from across the state of California banded together to announce that they formed a special task force.
What’s a little fraud to a child raping killer?
Convicted killers, rapists and child molesters sitting on Death Row in California have been collecting unemployment checks. After all, what’s a little fraud to these monsters? For instance, Isauro Aguirre is a child raping killer.
He’s locked in San Quentin, awaiting execution “for the murder of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez who was abused, tortured and beaten to death in 2013.” He figured even unemployed child killers deserved a slice of the federal stimulus money so he applied for it. And got it too.
Nine California DA’s happened to notice that the inmates were bragging about the goldmine they discovered. When they grouped together to start the fraud task force, they found out the scale of the abuse was staggering.
It wasn’t just one or two isolated cases. “It’s open and notorious in the correctional facilities, being discussed about how everybody is getting paid,” El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson relates.
According to Anne Marie Schubert, prosecuting for Sacramento County, “The total amount through August that we know of is $420,000 in the name of death row inmates. And who’s on that list?
A lot of notorious people who’s names have claims filed in their names.” The fraud force lists some examples.
A well oiled money machine
Cary Stayner, “who killed four people in Yosemite National Park in 1999,” cashed in, along with Susan Eubanks, “a San Diego woman found guilty in the murders of her four sons in 1997.”
At least 158 claims have been filed for 133 inmates on death row in the well oiled money machine. “The fraud is honestly staggering,” Schubert insists. “Quite frankly, the inmates are mocking us.”
So far, the fraud panel has discovered more than 35,000 claims for unemployment payments that were turned in between March and August.
More than $140 million was paid out to “Tens of thousands of inmates — local, state and federal.” One prisoner got “close to $20,000.”
The way the scheme worked, the prisoners had help from the outside with the fraud. “We’ve heard stories of prisoners getting money on their books.”
They have “their spouses, their parents, their siblings or just fellow gang members on the outside” pick up a few debit cards “and running up, you know, buying luxury items.” Michael Hestrin of Riverside County notes, “It’s hard to understand how we got here, how our government has grown this inattentive, but at the end of the day we’ve got to do better with government.”