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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

Rep. Markkanen says recent unemployment fraud report findings unacceptable

Two reports show Michigan taxpayers shelled out billions in illegitimate unemployment insurance claims in 2020 as economic shutdowns drove record numbers out of the labor force.

In November, Michigan’s Inspector General warned during an audit that $3.9 billion handed out during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic went to ineligible recipients. Deloitte, a private sector accounting firm, now believes another $8 billion was obtained through fraud or other illicit means.

Representative Greg Markkanen says, ““This was money squandered – and there is documented evidence that decisions by Gov. Whitmer’s administration directly led to it. It’s important as we go into the new year to continue examining what went wrong and develop solutions to ensure this level of ineptitude doesn’t impact hard-working taxpayers across the U.P. again.”

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency was not alone in prioritizing clearing a backlog of cases over ensuring that payments were made in a financially prudent way. Still, it was given notice about the problem by the federal government. The United States Department of Labor warned the state as early as May 12, 2020 that it was creating a situation susceptible to fraud.

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