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New York Paid $11 Billion In Fraudulent Covid Relief


Add another infraction to the list of New York’s crime problems: fraud. A report recently released by the state’s comptroller found that, in the first year after the Covid pandemic hit, the state paid out at least $11 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims.

That staggering sum reflects one state’s worth of fraudulent claims in one year. And the fraud’s far-reaching consequences will continue to hurt businesses while exacerbating inflation for families.

Fraud and untrue payments skyrocket

According to the report, there was an explosion in unemployment insurance payments after lockdowns caused most of the economy to shut down. From April 1, 2020, through March 31, 2021, the state paid out more than $76 billion in unemployment claims — a more than 31-fold increase from the previous year.

The skyrocketing caseloads, coupled with New York’s generations-old UI computer systems, led to widespread fraud. In the same period 2020-2021, the fraud rate was more than tripled, to 14.48%, up from 4.51 percent the year before. Multiplying 14.48 percent fraud rates with benefits payouts yields an estimated total fraud just above $11 billion. 

It’s true, it gets worse. In the following year, which ended this past March 31, the fraud rate in New York’s UI program…

More information can be found here

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