Some $45.6 billion in pandemic unemployment benefits may have been fraudulently paid to criminals between March 2020 and April 2022, the US Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General said in a memorandum on Thursday. It’s the latest report to identify widespread schemes to steal money from a variety of federal relief programs.
The updated figure is a big jump from the $16 billion in potentially fraudulent unemployment payments that the office cited in a June 2021 alert, which looked at claims from March through October of 2020. Since then, there were increases in payments tied to Social Security numbers of people who filed in multiple
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