South Carolina’s unemployment agency says it’s planning to go after 180 people who fraudulently received $10,000 or more in jobless benefits.
The Department of Employment and Workforce says it is partnering with the state Attorney General’s office and the U.S. Labor Department to prosecute those who committed the fraud.
“We would like to go after all fraud, but at this point, we’re targeting the big ticket items right now,” DEW spokesperson Mary-Kathryn Craft said.
The agency says those 180 people improperly received about $2.5 million in all.
Craft said the most common example of fraud was people who had been receiving unemployment insurance payments not informing the state they had landed a new job– thereby continuing to receive the payments.
DEW is taking action amidst estimates from the Labor Department that it improperly paid out more than $90 million in jobless benefits. Overall, South Carolina officials say they have identified $10 million in overpayments.
Late last year, DEW began using a new computer system that automatically cross-matches business hiring data with a list of South Carolinians receiving the benefits. The idea is to better find matching Social Security numbers– possibly indicating that a person is fraudulently collecting unemployment insurance payments overall.