WV Division of Corrections investigates inmate COVID-19 stimulus schemes


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety says investigators with the state’s Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation believes more than 100 West Virginia inmates have sought to obtain COVID-19 stimulus relief funds meant for U.S. workers and families.

Inmates are not eligible for the Economic Impact Payments established under the federal
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, but that according to DMAPS, hasn’t stopped the apparent attempts to apply for the checks from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The 125 inmates investigators have identified so far include 59 serving life sentences for first-degree
murder. A similar number are incarcerated on lengthy terms for sex crimes, mostly against children
or family members.

The investigation began with a group of around 25 inmates. DCR’s Investigations Division is
working with the West Virginia State Police on the case. DMAPS says as inmates receive meals, housing and medical care at state taxpayer expense, they are considered dependents and are ineligible for such payments.

In a Monday bulliten to federal and state correctional officials nationwide, the IRS called for the return of all CARES checks sent to inmates, according to DMAPS.

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