New York State is tired of people stealing unemployment benefits. On Monday, September 26, 2022, Governor Hochul announced a crackdown on those committing fraud around the state. The New York State Department of Labor Investigations conducted an investigation and found that more than $11 million in benefits payments were stolen in August. The large number of fraudulent benefits were primarily caused by New Yorkers who were employed but still collecting unemployment insurance payments. Gov. Hochul announced that those found guilty of fraudulently collecting benefits will be forced to repay the State. Anyone who does not make the required repayments will have to deal with state law enforcement. The Department of Labor Office of Special Investigations estimates that by the end of the year, $110 million in fraudulently attained benefits will be uncovered.

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Governor Hochul said,

At the height of the pandemic, when our state experienced an unprecedented unemployment crisis, these fraudulent unemployment insurance claims took resources away from New Yorkers who needed them most. My administration is taking action to step up our investigations of unemployment insurance fraud, hold those who take advantage of the system accountable, and protect this crucial benefit for New Yorkers in need.

If you worked while getting jobless benefits, New York State is putting you on notice - pay the benefits back or answer to law enforcement, period. Fraud has been rampant in the past few years. People were abusing PP loans and COVID-19 benefits, but the government is now catching up with all those folks. I hope it was worth it. I definitely wouldn't want to owe the government. Once they tack on fees and interest, you will end up paying back more than you were able to temporarily enjoy.

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