Last year, inmates in Tennessee prisons collected $1.3 million in unemployment checks. State officials believe this scam may have been going on for years.
Here’s the local news report:
from News 5:
"This isn’t an issue where the department has an oversight and money just went out the door," explained Turner Nashe from the Department of Labor.
A few weeks ago Nashe and the department learned inmates received over $1.3 million in unemployment checks over the last year.
"It doesn’t surprise me because we run into fraud all the time," he added.
Over the last few years every county in the state has put a new computer system in place that alerts victims’ and their families when a criminal is getting out of jail and it turns out that technology found people on unemployment, ineligible for checks because they were incarcerated were still getting paid by the government.
"We’ve got about 65,000 people a week that receive a check, none of those people are not receiving a check because the people that are incarcerated are receiving a check," Nashe explained.
Officials say 944 inmates received those unemployment checks, spread that out across $1.3 million dollars and you average about $1,300 that each inmate received for the year of 2012.
A little horse sense tells me that this problem isn’t unique to Tennessee. This is what happens when the country turns into a giant welfare state. Fraud like this is likely happening all over the country, and the taxpayer is on the hook (as usual).