Governor Larry Hogan announced that the State of Maryland has uncovered a massive and sophisticated criminal enterprise involving more than 47,500 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims in Maryland and totaling over $501 million. The governor was joined for the announcement by Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson and Special Agent Derek Pickle from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG).
Maryland’s "swift and decisive actions to notify federal authorities and expose this illegal scheme" helped shed light on related fraudulent criminal activity in other states across the countryThe Maryland Department of Labor continues to coordinate on the ongoing investigation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DOL-OIG.
“Thanks to the efforts of our Labor Department, not only did we identify the fraudulent activity here in Maryland and save the taxpayers half a billion dollars, but we also helped federal authorities uncover related illegal activity in states across the country,” said Governor Hogan. “This criminal enterprise seeking to take advantage of a global pandemic to steal hundreds of millions—perhaps billions—of dollars from taxpayers is despicable. We will continue to work with both the U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General on this ongoing investigation, both here in Maryland and in other states across the country, to do whatever it takes to ensure the perpetrators are apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“My office and the entire law enforcement community are committed to bringing to justice fraudsters who are preying on citizens during this unprecedented public health crisis by using their stolen personal information to fraudulently attempt to obtain unemployment benefits,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We are grateful for our partnership with the State of Maryland in stopping unemployment fraud and believe that this joint federal-state partnership will continue to bear fruit. We will continue to work together to prevent this abuse as well as continue our outreach efforts to make the public aware of COVID-19 scams and frauds. I urge citizens to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activity or fraudulent use of their personal information.”
“Today’s announcement results from our strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the State of Maryland, and demonstrates our joint commitment to combating fraud in the Unemployment Insurance program,” said Derek Pickle, Special Agent-in-Charge, Washington Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. “The OIG will continue to work closely with our law enforcement and state workforce agency partners to aggressively pursue criminals who choose to enrich themselves without regard for taxpayers and individuals who truly need assistance.”
- Over $4.3 billion in CARES Act and regular unemployment insurance benefits payments have been paid out.
- 96.4 percent of all claims have been successfully processed.
- The proportion of pending cases (3.6 percent) is below pre-pandemic levels.