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Audit Shows 200 Inmates Received $400k+ in Gov. Payments

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Aired 4/19/09

A recent audit shows some county jail inmates have been receiving federal and state payments, despite rules that say they aren't eligible when they're behind bars. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports.

The State Controller's office conducted the audit in eight counties. It found more than 200 jail inmates received more than $400,000. Those payments serve as living expenses for the aged, blind and disabled. Controller John Chiang says the audit examined just a sample of inmates -- and that the overpayments could be much more.

Chiang : If we extrapolated it over for the entire population we believe that would be three million dollars, and then if we did a further extrapolation and did it statewide it would cost anywhere from six to ten million dollars.

Jail inmates become ineligible for such funding if they are in custody more than 30 days. The State Controller's office says the money could be recovered by the Social Security Administration by adjusting future payments.

Jenny O’Mara, KPBS News.

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