(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order that'll permanently establish an Unemployment Insurance Fraud Response Team.
This comes after Michigan state allegedly gave away $8.5B in unemployment benefits to residents later deemed ineligible.
"Effective enforcement is an important tool to stop UI fraud," states Executive Order. No. 2021-16. "Michigan will benefit from a coordinated approach, leveraging the capacities of state, local, and federal law enforcement to efficiently identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals who steal UI benefits."
According to a press release, the governor has also issued another executive order that will direct the UIA to "continue to use new technologies, integrate stakeholder expertise, partner with community organizations to educate potential UI claimants, and prioritize enforcement of UI fraud cases through the Response Team."
“It’s extremely important that we continue to push back on bad actors who look to take advantage of a vital safety net resource for out-of-work Michiganders,” says Gov. Whitmer.
Deloitte has released a report that found UIA "prevented nearly $43.7 billion in benefits in imposter fraud or intentional misrepresentation by the applicant," according to the press release.
“Our diligence in identifying fraudulent claims proves that we now have effective processes to identify criminals who steal benefits from unemployed workers and Michigan taxpayers,” says Julia Dale, UIA director.
The press release also mentions that "the UIA has paid over $39 billion in benefits to more than 3.3 million workers, with over 99% of eligible claimants receiving benefits."
If you are a victim of fraud of identity theft, please report it at Michiga.gov/UIA.