Lawyer: Possibility of Michigan to recover money stolen from fraud from UIA is subtle to none

Lawyer: Possibility of Michigan to recover money stolen from fraud from UIA is subtle to none

    MICHIGAN (WNEM) — Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency is reporting massive fraud over the course of the pandemic with another surge of phony claims during the holidays.

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  • “It’s one of those victimless for lack of a better word crimes where somebody stole money from the state of Michigan,” Wasserman said.

  • Attorney Cristine Wasserman explained why some people have no problem defrauding the unemployment system.

“The likelihood of the state of Michigan recovering any significant amount of money from true fraudulent perpetrators is slim to none,” Wasserman said.

There were more than 10,000 fraudulent unemployment during the past week. There was a recent report saying the UIA may have paid out scammers as much as $8.5 billion dollars during the pandemic.

Wasserman has handled unemployment claims for the past 12 years. She said perpetrators often steal identities making it difficult to track them down.

Those who are caught can face felony charges resulting in prison time. The pandemic and persistent issues with filing for unemployment are making it more difficult to hold criminals accountable.

“We’re just not in a position to take any type of aggressive stance towards folks that are doing this,” Wasserman said. She believes the way to reduce fraudulent activity is to open satellite offices around the state for in-person filing rather than online applications.

“Make the program more personable and more individualized I think that is the only way that you’re going to get in front of any type of fraudulent activity,” Wasserman said. Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.