Fraudulent Lockdown-Era Unemployment Payments May Amount To $60 Billion, Government Watchdog Says

Fraudulent Lockdown-Era Unemployment Payments May Amount To $60 Billion, Government Watchdog Says


Fraudsters may have stolen as much as $60 billion from the various unemployment insurance programs enacted by lockdown-era stimulus bills, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.

State workforce agencies, which are responsible for administering unemployment programs, have officially reported $4.3 billion of fraud between April 2020 and June 2022. Another fraud measure, cases flagged by the Labor Department as potential fraud, could imply some $45 billion in fraudulent payments between March 2020 and April 2022. Extrapolating another lower-bound estimate from the agency, which said at least 7.6% of regular unemployment insurance payments were fraudulent, would imply a conservative estimate of $60 billion.

“Current measures and estimates do not reflect the full extent of fraud, but they do provide important insights on fraud risks,” according

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