November 3, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly $3.45 Million in Fraudulently Collected Benefits Repaid to Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly $3.45 Million...

Department of Labor on Track to Break Last Year’s Total

County by County Breakdown of Recoveries Available Here

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Department of Labor recovered nearly $3.45 million in fraudulently obtained Unemployment Insurance benefits during the first 10 months of 2016. The amount of restitution recovered so far this year puts New York State on track to exceed last year’s record total.

"Unemployment benefits are intended for New Yorkers in need, and this administration has zero tolerance for those who seek to exploit the system for personal gain," Governor Cuomo said. "Our aggressive efforts to crack down on fraud are recovering millions to ensure that these benefits go to those who are entitled to 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.

The amount collected to date in 2016, $3.447 million, is 93 percent of the total amount collected in 2015 and an 8 percent increase over the same period in 2015, putting the state on track to set a new annual record this year.

State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring that the safety net Unemployment Insurance benefits provide remains intact. Thanks to the work of our dedicated staff, fraud is identified and quickly stopped. I thank our partners in the District Attorney’s offices around the state for their ongoing aid as we seek to end Unemployment Insurance fraud."

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.

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 U.S. 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.

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