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FOX 17’s unemployment investigation picked up by international media outlet

Posted at 11:45 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 23:45:52-05

MICHIGAN — It’s a story that the FOX 17 Problem Solvers and Darren Cunningham broke last year, and now Michigan’s unemployment woes have gone international.

The international media outlet The Guardian published an article Friday digging into Michigan’s questionable unemployment system, which caused an immediate uptake in fraud claims upon its implementation. In brief, the Michigan Data Automated System (also known as ‘MiDAS’) would approve unemployment benefits and pay them out, and then deny the approvals it granted, resulting in an increase in fraud and misrepresentation charges, most of which judges saw as unfounded.

People flagged by MiDAS would often get sent a letter from the state, saying they didn’t qualify for unemployment benefits in the first place. They would be ordered to repay the benefits plus a hefty fine of up to four times the original amount. The sharp increase in unemployment fraud charges led to a backlog of nearly 23,000 appeals last summer.

Just as recently as last week, FOX 17 reported that a 40-page audit of MiDAS shows in detail how the computer system failed. The full report can be read here.

FOX 17’s Problem Solvers are continuing their investigation into the $47 million computer system and unemployment agency. Stay tuned for the latest.

Contact the FOX 17 Problem Solvers at 616-447-5291 or at problemsolvers@fox17online.com.