Government

Washington State Unemployment Fraud Was So Widespread, Claims Were Filed Using Agency Employee’s Identities

The Grind:
It has been revealed that 59 employees of Washington State’s Employment Security Department (ESD) had fraudulent unemployment claims made against their own benefit accounts.

In 10 of those cases of stolen identity during the massive fraud scheme in the early days of the pandemic, ESD did not realize what was happening until after it had deposited funds into fraudsters bank account, according to King 5 News.

The Details:
An audit of the agency found that through the end of June 2020, the ESD had lost $600 million dollars to Nigerian scammers of which they claimed to have recovered only $250 million of the missing funds. ESD said that more had been recovered since June for a total at the time of $357 million. Original estimates placed the loss at closer to $1 billion, though a large amount of the difference was recovered when the fraud was detected.

ESD claimed the fraud was a result of claimants overwhelming their system following the economic crisis caused by Democrat Governor Jay Inslee’s COVID restrictions, but the problems existed long before that. Read more…

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