BALTIMORE, MD—The State of Maryland on Wednesday announced that officials had uncovered an unemployment insurance fraud scheme targeting high-ranking state government officials, including Governor Larry Hogan, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson, and several other members of the governor’s cabinet.
“We have been more aggressive than any state in going after the rampant fraud that is targeting unemployment insurance systems nationwide,” said Governor Hogan. “The vast majority of claims we have flagged have been confirmed as fraudulent, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. This is another example of how this kind of fraud can happen to anyone, and we need to remain vigilant.”
Upon detection, these fraudulent claims filed using stolen identities were immediately blocked, and state and federal partners were notified. A comprehensive investigation is underway in coordination with the Maryland State Police and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General. The Maryland Department of Labor is running weekly queries to cross-check all claimants filing and reporting State of Maryland as their last employer. This follows another fraud scheme uncovered on Election Day.
“This latest fraud scheme only reinforces the need to maintain the heightened security measures in place to protect Marylanders and the integrity of the state’s program,” said Secretary Robinson. “We are working closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure that all of these criminals are brought to justice.”
On July 15, Governor Larry Hogan announced that the State of Maryland 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 and Secretary Robinson were joined for that announcement by Special Agent Derek Pickle from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
With aggressive security measures in place, the Maryland Department of Labor continues to investigate potentially fraudulent in-state and out-of-state claims. With over 85.1% of claims flagged and investigated being confirmed as fraudulent, it is critical that the department reviews and verifies documentation manually.
- Of the 115,356 out-of-state claims that have been identified as being potentially fraudulent, 105,738 (91.7%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.
- Of the 98,769 in-state claims that have been identified as potentially fraudulent, 76,388 (77.3%) have either not uploaded the verification documentation requested or their documentation has been reviewed and denied.
- There are currently 1,823 (0.8%) in-state and out-of-state potentially fraudulent claims pending manual review and verification by a team of specialists.
From March 9 to November 28, the state’s Division of Unemployment Insurance paid a total of $8,224,675,615 in state and federal unemployment insurance benefits to claimants.