You are currently viewing Pandemic Unemployment Fraud Estimate Rises to $45.6 Billion

A federal watchdog tripled its earlier estimate of benefits that the U.S. government paid to people who weren’t entitled to them.

A federal watchdog investigating the distribution of pandemic relief funds has tripled its estimate of the amount of money paid out in unemployment insurance that can be attributed to certain forms of fraud.

The watchdog, the office of the inspector general of the Labor Department, previously attributed about $16 billion to duplicate payments or payments made to dead people, individuals with suspicious email accounts or federal prisoners. The office now says the federal government probably made $45.6 billion in such payments.

Investigations by the inspector general’s office have led to criminal charges against more than 1,000 people accused of fraudulently receiving unemployment insurance benefits during the pandemic, the office said in a statement on Thursday.

“Hundreds of billions in pandemic funds attracted fraudsters seeking to exploit the U.I. program — resulting in historic levels

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Business.

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