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DC Accuses 130 of its Own Workers of Fraud

February 7, 2012
KEYWORDS fraud
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About 90 current District of Columbia employees face dismissal and criminal prosecution after collecting unemployment benefits while on the government's payroll.

An additional 40 former D.C. workers are also facing the possibility of a criminal probe for their role in the scheme that cost taxpayers up to $800,000. "It is unconscionable for anyone -- and particularly District of Columbia employees, who should have high ethical standards -- to be fraudulently collecting unemployment insurance to which they are not entitled," D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan said in a statement.

Workers implicated in the citywide sweep were placed on leave while their employing agency investigates the findings of the joint probe by District and federal authorities, says a Washington Post report. Current District employees who are ultimately found to have committed fraud will be fired, Mayor Vincent Gray's office said. Some of the workers allegedly collected as much as $20,000, the report says.

The District, which employs about 32,000 people, will also seek to recover any money that employees fraudulently obtained, the report says.

Although city officials did not release a roster of employees under scrutiny, Lisa Mallory, the director of D.C.'s Department of Employment Services, said the scandal touched some of the District's most influential agencies and offices, including D.C. Public Schools, the District Department of Transportation and Mallory's own department, the report notes.

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