Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

Currently: 72° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Audit: Prisoners in Nevada may have collected $5 million in unemployment benefits

CARSON CITY — The state may have paid up to $5 million in unemployment benefits to inmates in prison or county jails in the last three years, a legislative audit says.

The report said an examination of records of the state Employment Security Division found 67 inmates illegally received a total of $240,000 in benefits in fiscal 2012.

The report, presented by Deputy Legislative Auditor Dan Crossman on Thursday, also detailed instances in which payments were made to people who had died or gone back to work.

Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey said a “lot of people are good at gaming the system.”

The report, presented to the Legislative Audit Committee, estimates “the amount of unemployment benefits that may have been paid to incarcerated individuals to be as much as $5 million over the past three years.” In eight cases, inmates used stolen Social Security information to get checks.

In one case, the audit found, two inmates in state prison for more than a year collected a combined $53,489.

Kelly Karch, deputy administrator of the Employment Security Division, said new security measures are being put in place to weed out fraud.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 4 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Now go and seize those monies and get it back then try them for their crimes!

    Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey said a "lot of people are good at gaming the system." [sic]
    Now you need to get good at convicting them!

  2. And yet, the Nevada Employment Security Division just announced last week that the unemployment tax rate would increase again this year, adding significant burden even to small businesses with no history of unemployment claims. Unbelievable.

  3. Working in the prison system is NOT easy. I have done it and know, as well as some of my family and friends. This article leaves out important information as to WHY some doctors would leave the facility early on their shift (I am not defending all of them, because there are some, like in any industry, who will game the system, we all know that by now). Typically, prison staff are rudely treated and abused on a daily basis, and bureaucratic system does little, if anything, to protect them, nor adjust for that fact.

    All human beings deserve to be humanely treated, and those working with the most vile individuals within our society realize that and try their best to render appropriate and compassionate services. Working in a prison environment, you can never let your guard down. Even with all precautions, prison staff will fall prey to prisoners who will physically harm them, and such affected staff leave the facility for emergency medical treatment.

    The ACLU have been aggressively going after a few prison medical personnel who have a pattern of delivering less than quality nor appropriate medical care to inmates. That is a fact, and may be part of the motivation in publishing this article...I don't know, but it is possible. Let the courts determine if there is a case of any abuse and sentence appropriately.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  4. Not a big surprise. It seems the Administrators of these State programs get their jobs because they smile at the Legislators, have politicians as their "references", are close friends with Agency Directors, can smile for the cameras and know the limited terminology of our budget process, YET KNOW next to nothing about their chosen career fields.
    Why aren't the managers, administrators, directors experts in the agency programs?