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State aggressively fighting unemployment
fraud, recovers $3.1 million in false claims


July 14, 2004

Juneau, Alaska - State labor officials credit aggressive investigations and determined prosecutions for the recovery of more than $3.1 million paid out in fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims during the 2004 fiscal year that ended June 30.

The recovered funds exceeded by $700,000 or 29 percent of the $2.4 million recovered in FY '03 from fraudulent claims. Claims are investigated by the Division of Employment Security of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

In FY '04, the division fraud unit closed 1,981 cases, an increase of 674 cases or 51 percent more than the 1,307 cases closed in FY '03.

Employment Security Division Director Thomas Nelson said the UI fraud unit is achieving a conviction rate "near 100 percent." The unit compiled a monthly recovery record of 248 fraud cases closed in June for collections totaling $456,000.

Labor Commissioner Greg O'Claray praised the fraud unit staff for its "outstanding commitment. They make sure that the unemployment insurance benefits program is fair and consistently responsive to the great majority of workers who are honest."

The commissioner warned that violators who abuse UI benefits risk heavy fines, jail time, probation and community service as well as required full repayment of all false benefits plus penalties and interest.



Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development
Web Site


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