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Audit of early 2020 unemployment payments reveals $4-billion of potential fraud

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Posted at 3:00 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 15:00:48-05

WASHINGTON, D.C- — The U.S. inspector general says an audit that looked at all state's distribution of unemployment insurance claims during the pandemic has been completed.

Officials say between March and October of 2020, they’ve discovered more than $5.4-billion dollars in unemployment benefits that could be linked to fraud.

It includes paying people that were using the social security numbers of people that have died, and federal inmates and state prisoners who aren’t eligible for benefits. It also includes paying people who filed with their social security number in multiple states and claims filed with socials that came from suspicious e-mail accounts.

That total doesn’t include the rest of 2020 or 2021 so officials say the amount of potential fraud is even larger.

The inspector general says officials in charge of employment and training at state workforce agencies establish effective controls to mitigate fraud and work with Congress to come up with legislation that requires state workforce agencies to cross-match high-risk areas.