(WASHINGTON) -- A new inspector general's report found that the Social Security Administration mistakenly sent 89,000 stimulus checks of $250 each to deceased and incarcerated people. The payments were made as part of the economic stimulus package enacted in February 2009.
The report said Thursday that about 55,000 of 72,000 payments were sent to recipients that had died recently and that their deaths had not been reported to the SSA, according to The Wall Street Journal. Another 17,000 payments went to prison inmates.
The inspector general also reports that about 41,000 payments have been returned -- it is illegal to spend Social Security money that has been mistakenly received. However, The Wall Street Journal reports that at least one person has been prosecuted for stimulus fraud.
The mistaken payments total $22.3 million, the inspector general reports. $12 million has not been recovered.
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