- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that the state’s Department of Labor discovered nearly 50,000 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims totaling over $500 million.

“This criminal enterprise seeking to take advantage of a global pandemic to steal hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of dollars from tax payers is despicable,” Mr. Hogan said at the press conference.

Stolen identities and private information, obtained from previous national data breaches, were used to file for over 47,500 fraudulent claims, Mr. Hogan said.

Mr. Hogan said the Department of Labor (DOL) discovered the fraud after detecting an unusual increase in out-of-state federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson said that the department has not experienced any breach of the state’s unemployment system and claimant’s personal information has not been compromised either.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland as well as the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General both were notified of the fraud and have been coordinating with the DOL on this investigation.

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