The US Department of Justice offers a ‘one-stop’ website for reporting unemployment fraud
The Department of Justice’s National Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force has launched a comprehensive liaison with the Federal Trade Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Labor to provide victims with rapid access to the resources needed to file an unemployment fraud report in all 50 states. .
The NUIFTF project involved key federal agencies, including the Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, and the Secret Service.
The one-page alert has been in development since last fall, when unemployment fraudsters began using stolen identities to file for unemployment benefits in Florida and across the country.
[READ FORM: Click here to view the 1-page alert]
Orlando special agent Carolyn O’Brien Buster told News 6 that the pandemic has caused an “unemployment fraud crisis” in America that is expected to exceed $200 billion.
“I think it will be more once the next amount of money comes down,” O’Brien Buster said, referring to the $1.9 trillion US bailout bill signed into law by President Biden on Thursday.
News 6 has been investigating and reporting cases of unemployment fraud since last April, when the pandemic caused a rush to state unemployment benefits.
Dieules Octave, an eight-year Disney World veteran, has received state unemployment benefits through August 2020.
Now back to work at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion, Octave has filed a fraud report from the Department of Economic Opportunity five times after receiving a 1099-G showing he owes taxes on $19,500 in unemployment benefits.
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His bank records, reviewed by News 6, confirm that he received just over $11,000 in unemployment benefits.
“On August 3rd, this was the last time I asked for benefits,” Octave told News Six.
He discovered that his DEO account had been changed after he obtained a 1099-G.
He reviewed his DEO and found that someone had opened bank accounts to accept deposits at Bancorp and Compass. Octave said he was always with Wells Fargo and never opened new accounts.
O’brien-Buster said the new Labor Department link to the DEO will ensure direct access to fraud investigators.
“It’s easy,” she said. “One page and a great resource.”
When you go to the alert page, you will see three separate links. The Department of Labor link can be used to submit a report to the DEO. Just click on Florida.
There are also helpful links with the IRS and the Federal Trade Commission.
If you have an unemployment problem, email 6 News Investigator Mike Holfield at [email protected]
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