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California advances bill aimed at massive unemployment fraud

Lawmakers advanced legislation requiring two state agencies to share information aimed at helping stop billions of dollars in pandemic-related unemployment fraud.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers are advancing what they call commonsense legislation requiring two state agencies to share information aimed at helping stop billions of dollars in pandemic-related unemployment fraud. 

The measure that cleared its first committee Thursday would require the beleaguered Employment Development Department to crosscheck unemployment applications with inmate records to identify fraudulent claims. State officials approved at least $810 million in the names of roughly 45,000 inmates, some of them on death row. 

A state audit in January put the toll at more than double the amount previously reported by the state. At least 35 other states already cross-match unemployment claims.

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