Letter to the Hon. Larry Turner, Acting Inspector General at the Department of Labor - Curtis, House Gop Colleagues Investigate Potential Unemployment Fraud
Dear Acting Inspector General Turner,
We write to you today with concerns about mounting reports of unemployment insurance fraud occurring throughout the country. If true, this is inexcusable, especially at a time in which millions of Americans remain out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, multiple state unemployment programs reportedly froze thousands of accounts with open unemployment claims after detecting fraudulent activity. In one case, investigators discovered individuals illegally filed claims on behalf of thousands of inmates, amassing over $2 billion in fraudulent benefits. Another case found claims submitted from computers overseas and, again, used stolen identities.
It is also our understanding that these criminals primarily targeted the temporary unemployment programs established help the millions of Americans who lost their jobs as a result of pandemic. This only underscores the need to swiftly address these loopholes being exploited by criminals.
Therefore, we request your office investigate these claims of fraud, waste, and abuse. If found true, your recommendations of how to safeguard against further attempts to undermine our unemployment system could save millions, if not billions, of taxpayer dollars. We also stand ready to offer additional assistance to our state partners as they manage an above average caseload of unemployment claims.
Above all, ensuring targeted relief goes to those who are most in need and being good stewards Americans' hard-earned taxpayer dollars is critical as we continue our pandemic response. Thank you and we look forward to your response.