LANSING, Mich. — The Senate and House Oversight committees on Thursday held a joint hearing to discuss a Deloitte and Touche investigation into imposter fraud and intentional misrepresentation payments made by the Unemployment Insurance Agency.
According to the Deloitte report, the agency is alleged to have squandered up to $8.5 billion in fraudulent jobless claims throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The new report follows a recent state Office of the Auditor General audit indicating $3.9 billion had been paid out to ineligible recipients due to the agency ignoring federal rules.
“It is clear after discussing the report issued by Deloitte that the state Unemployment Insurance Agency’s focus was decidedly not on the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted, but on the fraud the agency allegedly prevented,” said Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township, the Senate committee chairman. “While I appreciate and expect the agency director’s concern about ensuring something like this never happens again, she simply cannot gloss over the massive mistakes made by the agency that led to a significant amount of Michigan’s federal COVID-19 funding going to the wrong people and not to the residents who deserved it. The oversight committees have still not received a coherent answer about who specifically was responsible for preventing fraud while this was happening or who made the decisions to roll back fraud protections. We will continue these hearings until the people of this state get the answers they deserve, and someone is held accountable.”
McBroom said he understands the UIA has been difficult to navigate for many U.P. residents, and anyone having trouble may contact his Senate office at 517-373-7840 or toll-free 1-866-305-2133.
The report, which was issued Dec. 29, 2021, may be read by clicking here.
The joint committee hearing may be viewed in its entirety here.