Fraudsters may have gotten away with tens of billions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Labor by filing claims in multiple states and using the social security numbers of dead people as aid was distributed during the coronavirus pandemic, a federal watchdog claimed Thursday.
The department’s own inspector general, Larry Turner, revealed his office has identified $45.6 billion in potentially fraudulent unemployment insurance payments that occurred between March 2020 and April, UPI reports.
“Hundreds of billions in pandemic funds attracted fraudsters seeking to exploit the UI program — resulting in historic levels of fraud and other improper payments,” Turner said in a statement.
The watchdog also found the Labor Department paid out more than $267.3 million in unemployment insurance benefits to federal prisoners and $140 million to nearly 206,000 social security numbers belonging to dead people.
The inspector general’s office said its 140 criminal investigators have opened more than 190,000 investigations related to unemployment insurance fraud, resulting in charges being brought against more than 1,000 people, the UPI report adds.- READ MORE