State audits discovered that Michigan’s unemployment service had misappropriated more than $8 billion in taxpayer funds via waste and fraud.
A recent audit reveals that the agency never conducted background checks on many of the people it employed — and that many of those new workers had already been convicted of money laundering.
“It’s tough to contact them because they claim I owe them money I don’t owe,” Miranda Furlette explained.
To suggest that obtaining aid from Michigan’s unemployment department has been difficult during the epidemic.
Furlette of Detroit claims the state agency claimed she owed it $10,000 at one point, although the agency owes her ten weeks of eligible unemployment.
“Are you able to pay your bills?”
“Only barely,” she stated. The auditor general’s conclusions from its state audit added to the dissatisfaction. As it turns out, Michigan’s unemployment office never completed criminal background checks on new employees from October 2019 through 2020.
Investigators discovered that numerous employees had been convicted of financial offenses ranging from embezzlement to identity theft and fraud. And the same criminals possessed sensitive financial information, which was utilized to defraud the government in one instance.
“The unemployment office maintains a comprehensive record of job seekers who are not criminals,” Furlette explained.
Therefore, why would a public agency make such a careless and costly error? Julia Dale, head of the Unemployment Insurance Agency, refers to a workforce that has increased by more than fivefold and a record number of claims during the epidemic – all facilitated by newly established complicated government support schemes.
In part, her statement reads: “While UIA moved fast to expand the department’s capacity to meet the requirements of Michigan residents, the implementation was far from flawless.
The audit’s lessons gained and the possibilities identified to serve as the foundation for establishing an enhanced Michigan unemployment insurance agency.
“As an agency, we are dedicated to doing the right thing by Michigan residents and will do everything possible to make adjustments moving ahead.”
“Trusting the government is tough,” Furlette remarked. However, the agency intends to reclaim it through changes such as developing policies for criminal background checks, implementing a new employee training management system, adhering to data security procedures, and collaborating with the Department of Labor to secure staffing contracts that adhere to state and federal guidelines.