Mass. Feds to Crack Down on Unemployment Fraud
U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling has announced that the District of Massachusetts will hire a prosecutor to focus on unemployment fraud related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.
The CARES Act allocated $270 billion for supplemental federal unemployment benefits. Additionally, the Trump administration directed $44 billion in federal disaster relief to provide supplemental benefits. The big increase in funding spurred a dramatic spike in unemployment insurance fraud, Lelling's office said in a media release.
“Unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of national crises to enrich themselves at the expense of American taxpayers,” Lelling stated. “I look forward to doubling down on our prosecutions of unemployment insurance fraud with the welcomed addition of a prosecutor focused solely on these cases.”
The District of Massachusetts will hire an Assistant U.S. Attorney for a one-year term, with the possibility of a one-year extension. More information on the position can be found at https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers/job/assistant-united-states-attorney-1193.
The Department of Justice created the National Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force to investigate CARES Act fraud schemes targeting state workforce agencies, Lelling's office said.
The DOJ encourages the public to report suspected fraud related to COVID-19 to the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at (1-866-720-5721) or via an online reporting form available at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/webform/ncdf-disaster- complaint-form.