Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Roth: Unemployment agency audit uncovers uninvestigated fraud
RELEASE|December 28, 2023
Contact: John Roth

State Rep. John Roth on Thursday called for the House Ethics and Oversight Committee to consider a plan, introduced by House Republicans, to overhaul the Unemployment Insurance Agency after Michigan’s nonpartisan Office of the Auditor General uncovered failures by the UIA. The audit, released Wednesday, found the UIA neglected to investigate improper payments made during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We already knew the UIA was writing checks to inmates and dead people, but this report outlines how they discovered they were sending our tax dollars to these ineligible recipients and actively chose to continue the payments anyway,” said Roth, R-Interlochen. “It doesn’t matter how much better UIA leadership says things are; this level of fraud mandates we overhaul the department and restore public trust.”

The audit into the Investigations Division at the Whitmer administration’s UIA found that between January 2020 and October 2022, the agency failed to attempt to identify a large share of imposter claims or to recover many payments and penalties. To date, audits have already uncovered billions of dollars in fraudulent payments. The most recent report revealed another $245.1 million in potentially improper payments to ineligible individuals, even after the agency found that an individual was dead or in prison. The UIA did not identify or act to evaluate whether the payments were appropriate.

House Republicans introduced a plan to reform the UIA earlier this year. The package would increase transparency, prevent fraud, and improve customer service for unemployed workers seeking benefits and employers who pay taxes into the unemployment system. The bills were referred to the House Ethics and Oversight Committee, which the Democrat chair hasn’t convened since June.


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