July 21, 2021
July 21, 2021
Lansing, Mich., July 21, 2021 – In yet another blow to the credibility of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, it has been revealed that the state knowingly issued unemployment payments to fraudulent claims, including to “Kimberly Kardashian” and “Kylie Jenner”. The Detroit News reports:
“An early software error allowed for the payment of a majority of fraudulent claims in Michigan but, in other cases, the agency lowered security protocols intentionally, and despite employee concerns, to speed the processing of a crush of claims.
The agency, in one instance, released thousands of claims, knowing that 7% to 8% of them were fraudulent, according to emails. It did so because sorting the fraudulent claims from the legitimate ones would have held up payments to claimants in legitimate need of state help, employees indicated in emails…
Emails obtained by The News provide more details on those issues, and indicate at least three employees expressed misgivings to then-Director Steve Gray about the changes potentially exposing the department to fraud.”
Tuesday’s revelation that the state was knowingly issuing benefits to fraudulent claimants is just the latest in a series of scandals and incompetent leadership at Whitmer’s unemployment agency. Late last month, it was revealed that the state may force 648,000 Michiganders to repay their benefits due to a mistake made by the UIA, and this past weekend, it was reported that those claimants may have to pay interest to the state on those repayments.
“Michiganders have known for over a year that Whitmer’s unemployment agency was a complete disaster, but this most recent report that the state knowingly issued unemployment payments to fraudulent claims is a complete dereliction of duty from Whitmer and her former UIA Director, Steve Gray,” said Eric Ventimiglia, executive director for Michigan Rising Action. Ventimiglia continued, “We renew our call for Gray to repay the $86,000 hush money payment he received from Governor Whitmer, and encourage the House Oversight Committee to give this new bombshell story the attention it deserves when they begin their investigation of the state’s unemployment agency.”