Albany, NY - March 29th, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Department of Labor recovered $1.35 million in fraudulently collected Unemployment Insurance benefits in the first quarter of 2016, the largest quarterly total on record. The money was repaid to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund by claimants who collected Unemployment Insurance benefits for which they were not eligible.
"We have no tolerance for those who seek to game the system at the expense of deserving New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "This administration will continue to aggressively crack down on the fraudsters and ensure that Unemployment Insurance benefits go to those who need them."
Cases of suspected Unemployment Insurance fraud are identified and investigated by the Department of Labor's Office of Special Investigations and prosecuted by local District Attorney’s offices. Successful prosecutions result in restitution to the Trust Fund. In 2015, the office set a record, collecting over $3.7 million in restitution from 568 cases statewide. However, the restitution collected in the first quarter of 2016 puts the Department on track to set a new annual record this year.
The following District Attorney's offices were major contributors that contributed more than $50,000 of returned restitution during the January – March 2016 period:
|District Attorney||Total Restitution|
Acting New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said,"Unemployment Insurance benefits are an important safety net for all New Yorkers and the State Labor Department is committed to safeguarding the system. Our staff works tirelessly to identify and root out fraud so the integrity of the Trust Fund is preserved. I thank the many District Attorney’s offices that partner with us in this very important effort."
The Department of Labor operates one of the largest Unemployment Insurance systems in the country. Employers across the state contribute to New York's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. When the Trust Fund is forced to pay out because of a fraudulent claim, employers have to pay more. It is in everyone's best interest to prevent Unemployment Insurance fraud.
New York State is a national leader in the prevention and investigation of Unemployment Insurance fraud. In 2012, New York State was selected by the US Department of Labor to house the Unemployment Insurance National Integrity Center of Excellence, which is working to identify, develop and pilot new strategies and tools to combat improper payment and fraud on a national level.
Anyone with information about possible Unemployment Insurance fraud should call the Department of Labor's anonymous toll-free fraud hotline at (888) 598-2077 or visit www.labor.ny.gov/fraud.