(Centre Square) — The Georgia Inspector General has tentatively identified over $6.7 million in false unemployment insurance payments to hundreds of state employees.
In a Wednesday letter to Gov. Brian Kemp’s senior adviser David Dove, State Inspector General Scott McAfee said more than 280 full-time state employees were incorrectly paid in 2020 or 2021. I was. Pay averaged about $23,700 per employee.
by letter, the total is a “conservative estimate”. The review looked at employees who applied and received less than $1,000, who were part-time, who were not actively employed by the state, or who received benefits through a debit card instead. because it is not taken into account. Direct electronic transfer. “
“Offices of the National Inspector General and other investigative agencies continue to struggle with the sheer volume of referrals,” McAfee wrote. I can confirm that I did not have
IG combined data from state accounting offices and the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Labor to develop the estimate. The Georgia Department of Labor has given him more than $22.9 billion in 2020 and 2021 for her UI-related benefits.
According to McAfee, GDOL UI claims examiners received benefits among state officials. The employee “received approximately $31,220 and … continued to update her UI account fraudulently while employed at GDOL,” he wrote McAfee.
In the letter, McAfee called on lawmakers to consider legislation to extend the statute of limitations for prosecuting pandemic-related fraud. He also wants legislators to give his office the power of administrative subpoenas, and SAO and GDOL will coordinate on a quarterly basis to ensure that state employees are falsely or falsely accused without state employment details. I said I need to make sure that I am not submitting a UI application for
A spokesman for Kemp confirmed that the governor’s office has received the letter and is considering it.
“The Office of the Inspector General sent a letter today to the Governor’s Office alleging unemployment insurance fraud by more than 280 state employees,” GDOL said in a statement. It is not clear to GDOL how it obtained the confidential UI data used as a UI program data is confidential and may only be disclosed under limited circumstances permitted by state and federal law. increase.
“The Georgia Department of Labor is the only agency authorized by Georgia law to make unemployment fraud determinations. It can only do so after conducting a full wage investigation in accordance with state and federal law.” The department added, “GDOL has worked fully with other state agencies, including the OIG, and provided extensive UI records when legal requirements were met. As with legal liability, we follow laws set by state and federal governments and work to recover overpayments in accordance with legal guidelines.
Last year, federal officials indicted eight people who allegedly conspired to defraud millions of dollars in unemployment benefits from the state of Georgia. The federal government said the eight conspired to defraud GDOL out of a $30 million stipend aimed at helping out-of-work Georgians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the time, experts Said Center Square, where the indictment showed a potential vulnerability in the state system.
TA Defeo | Center Square Contributor