Bank of America’s California Partnership, Long Flourishing, Is Roiled by Unemployment Fraud

Bank of America Corp. thought helping states such as California hand out unemployment benefits would be good business. Then millions of Americans lost their jobs at once.

The bank is the longtime middleman for California’s unemployment program, loading jobless benefits onto prepaid debit cards. Normally the task is mundane, but that changed with the pandemic last year. Unemployment claims surged, and so did related fraud.