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Comptroller: Inmates In NY Jails Received Benefits

Karen DeWitt

An audit by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has found that hundreds of inmates in upstate county jails received more than $500,000 dollars in improper benefits.

DiNapoli's auditors found 351 inmates in Chemung, Onondaga, Orange, Schenectady and Warren counties received state unemployment insurance benefits of nearly $325,000.

The audit also found improper payments of more than $236,000 from various social welfare programs. For instance, auditors found 313 inmates at jails in Chemung, Onondaga, Orange and Schenectady counties received Safety Net Assistance benefits. Seventy-five inmates received inappropriate Medicaid benefits.

DiNapoli's office says the welfare benefits were paid out due to deficiencies in monitoring the eligibility of jail inmates. Auditors blamed a combination of potential fraud and delays in providing the state with information for the improper unemployment insurance benefits.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.