California sent COVID-19 jobless benefits to Scott Peterson, death row inmates

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FILE – In this March 17, 2005 file photo Scott Peterson is escorted by two San Mateo County Sheriff deputies to a waiting van in Redwood City, Calif. The California Supreme Court has overturned the 2005 death sentence for Peterson in the slaying of his pregnant wife. The court says prosecutors may try again for the same sentence if they wish in the high-profile case. It upheld his 2004 conviction of murdering Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant with their unborn son. (AP Photo/Justin Sullivan, Pool, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California prosecutor says someone has filed an unemployment claim in the name of convicted murderer Scott Peterson.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said it is one of at least 35,000 unemployment claims made on behalf of prison inmates between March and August.

Schubert said the state has paid out at least $140 million in benefits. At least 158 claims have been filed for 133 inmates on death row.

Schubert called it perhaps the biggest fraud of taxpayer dollars in California history. Prosecutors say people outside of the prison are filing claims on behalf of the inmates.

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