Stephen Council / CalMatters
After the Great Recession, California signed an exclusive contract with Bank of America to distribute unemployment benefits through prepaid debit cards. A CalMatters investigation reveals that, to this day, no one knows how much the bank made off the deal. Lawmakers are examining the bank's role in mass account freezes and untold amounts of missing money for thousands of struggling, jobless Californians — as well as where the bank may have failed to keep unemployment money safe from fraud.
In what appears to be the latest problem at the besieged state Employment Development Department, unemployed Californians say their accounts are being erroneously frozen.