California audit reveals timesheet fraud

A recently released inspector general's report has found that 66 employees at California's Mule Creek State Prison were paid for hours they did not work, according to BusinessWeek. The audit, which was conducted over a three-month period last year, found that $272,900 of taxpayers' money went into paying absent workers, which equates to an annual rate of almost $1.1 million.

"Most of Mule Creek's psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers regularly arrived to work late and left early, averaging as a group only 8.4 hours per day of their scheduled 10-hour shifts inside the secured perimeter," said the report, according to the news source.

Employees found to be putting in short hours included 26 of the prison's 31 psychologists, 11 out of 13 psychiatrists, and all seven social workers, 12 teachers, and five vocational instructors – as well as the prison's school principal and two vice principals. Their salaries ranged from $77,000 to $245,000.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Mule Creek is the only one of California's 33 state prisons that record their employees' comings and goings, so there is no way to know how widespread this issue is. 

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