Monday, March 2, 2009

Fradulent Unemployment Claims

Written by Brian Ettkin
Posted by Connie Yee

ALBANY Stephen Wyllie has investigated dead people who have seemingly been resurrected just in time to claim unemployment insurance benefits.

He has found prisoners who were receiving unemployment benefits.

"It's kind of hard to be ready, willing and able to work when you're locked up in Attica or Franklin Correctional Facility," said Wyllie, assistant director of the special investigations unit of the state Department of Labor.

One time Wyllie even busted a Department of Labor employee who was committing fraud by filing a false claim under his mother's name and collecting the benefits unbeknownst to her.

Little wonder the special investigations unit found nearly $30 million in fraudulent claims in 2008 about $14 million of which has been paid back and 22,760 instances of willful misrepresentation. In 2008, it received 31,879 referrals and tips, mostly from employers, ex-partners, jilted lovers and cross-match queries.

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