Watchdog: Department of Labor Paid out $45 Billion+ in Fraudulent Coronavirus Aid Claims

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.

So far, the department has secured 400 convictions, accounting for more than 7,000 combined months of incarceration, it said.
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