In September, the EDD fabricated $5.2 actor on a debit agenda acquirement administration acceding with Coffer of America — a ample block of the $22.5 actor the accompaniment raked in from March to October, according to accessible annal requested by CalMatters. (iStock)
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She didn’t apperceive it at the time, but aftermost September was aback aggregate started to break for Julie Hansen. It was backward in the ages aback the furloughed Disneyland bonbon maker noticed a cord of apprehensive accuse accretion $12,222.23 on her state-issued Coffer of America unemployment debit card. First, the money was accustomed aback to her account. Afresh it abolished again, ambience in motion a alternation of contest that larboard her and her son homeless.
Behind the scenes, California’s Employment Development Department and longtime debit agenda architect Coffer of America were scrambling to rein in aggressive fraud. They froze some 350,000 unemployment accounts about the time Hansen’s agenda was cut off.
The catch: while Hansen and added out-of-work Californians were larboard in banking affliction clumsy to admission unemployment money, a Great Recession-era arrangement ensured that the accompaniment and the coffer kept raking in millions of dollars in merchant fees whenever debit cards still in apportionment were swiped. In September, the EDD fabricated $5.2 actor on a debit agenda acquirement administration acceding with Coffer of America — a ample block of the $22.5 actor the accompaniment raked in from March to October, according to accessible annal requested by CalMatters.
How abundant money did Coffer of America accomplish on its end of the deal? The accompaniment says it doesn’t know, and the coffer won’t say, admitting a arrangement affirmation to address unemployment debit agenda fees and acquirement anniversary month. “EDD does not clue BofA’s revenue,” the bureau told CalMatters. The coffer beneath to animadversion on its unemployment acquirement and banking reporting.
“This is about a chic little hidden kickback scheme,” said Assembly Member Jim Patterson, a Republican from Fresno. “This is acceptable far too familiar. EDD aloof does not acquaint us what’s activity on.”
“I’m abashed that EDD doesn’t know,” Patterson said, “and I’m not abiding that I accept that they don’t know.”
Bank of America said it abeyant some chump fees, including blitz aircraft charges, in the spring. The coffer beneath to animadversion on transaction fees. Faiz Ahmad, managing administrator of transaction casework for Coffer of America, told assembly aftermost anniversary that admitting any money the