Mainers have a reputation for having a strong work ethic. Most Mainers appreciate having a job and are known for arriving on time, putting in a full day, and working to the best of their ability. They don’t have any use for freeloaders and cheats, which is what makes today’s fraud from the Bangor Daily News about the state’s new capability to catch unemployment fraudsters all the more rewarding.
The article reports that the state recently found 350 potential unemployment fraud cases by cross-checking unemployment insurance recipients against a ”national database of newly hired workers.’? (Next, I recommend they start checking for the deceased and incarcerated if they aren’t already.? For some time, it has been routine for the state to check whether unemployment recipients have been added to the state’s new hire database, but the state simply hasn’t had the capability to check data against the national new hire database. Recently, that all changed. ”Federal funds were used to pay for the necessary changes to the state computer system to allow it to pull data from the national database and match it with the state list of those receiving unemployment benefits.”
The director of the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation said, ”We have to look into every case because most of these will not be fraud, but some will and we will seek return of improperly paid funds.’? If the state believes fraud has been committed, the case could be turned over to the Attorney General for prosecution.
And, that’s not all. The legislature is reviewing a proposal that ”would bolster penalties” for unemployment fraud ”to as much as 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 depending upon the severity of the fraud involved. It would also increase the time a person is disqualified from receiving benefits.’? (Now, we’re talking!)
Maine has put unemployment fraudsters hiding across state lines on notice? you will be caught, we will collect, and you will be prosecuted. But the solution is equally clear? it takes good data that provides a comprehensive view of the benefit recipient to identify a fraudster.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”New Database Match Finds 350 Potential Unemployment Fraud cases on First Try,” written by Mal Leary of the Capitol News Service and published by the Bangor Daily News, on March 12, 2012.
AUGUSTA, Maine Mainers seeking to cheat the unemployment compensation system are up against yet another tool to catch them, a state computer match with the national database of newly hired workers that found 350 cases of potential fraud on its first use.
”We have been using the state new hire database for years,” said Laura Boyett, director of the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation. ”This is the first time we have been able to query the national new hire database.”