State officials have disclosed 180 prison inmates have received $156,000 in unemployment checks the last two years.
One inmate received $4,300 in unemployment benefits.
Many of the inmates were locked up in county jails.
The Nebraska Department of Labor says the inmates got the jobless benefits, because it had no reliable way to determine checks were going to people who were incarcerated. Officials recently have developed a computer program to cross-check applicants for unemployment benefits.
A new interagency effort has begun to crack down on fraudulent unemployment claims involving the Nebraska Crime Commission as well as the Departments of Corrections and Labor. The effort plans to prosecute those involved and seek restitution.
State Labor officials say they have begun the process of recovering the fraudulent claims, both the unemployment checks distributed, plus a 15% penalty.
How the inmates received the checks remains somewhat of a mystery. Some used friends and family to file claims. Some inmates might have file for unemployment checks directly from jail.