New task force focuses on fighting unemployment fraud in Georgia

Georgia Department of Labor office in Augusta.
Georgia Department of Labor office in Augusta.(WRDW)
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 9:55 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A new task force in Georgia is focused on fighting unemployment fraud during the pandemic.

The announcement was made by the Department of Justice, just one of several law enforcement agencies a part of the statewide effort.

Unemployment fraud continues to be a problem for the Georgia Department of Labor. With this new task force the GDOL, and the several agencies involved, hope to fight back, making sure eligible unemployed Georgians are getting their money.

“We’ve got a person where they’ve been able to show driver’s license, social security card, everything; and it’s somebody else’s but it’s got their face on it,” said GDOL Commissioner Mark Butler.

GDOL’s commissioner, Mark Butler, calls the sophistication of these fraud schemes stunning, which is why the UI Fraud Task Force involves so many agencies, both state and federal.

The GDOL will now work with agencies including the GBI, the Attorney General’s office, Homeland Security, the US Postal Service and even the Secret Service.

“They work for the US Treasury, and guess who all this money that’s being paid out of in UI benefits is coming from the Treasury.”

The DOJ says the UI Fraud Task Force will assist with evidence collection, offer guidance when it comes to investigations and refer cases for federal prosecution.

In a statement an Atlanta Homeland Security Investigations spokeswoman says, “HSI Atlanta and its partners are committed to hunting down these criminals that are stealing the resources and benefits that have been set aside to help people in our communities.”

Commissioner Butler says he’s thankful for the help and it will take a partnership like this task force to put a stop to the fraud schemes.

“Because there’s all different ways we’re seeing fraud being committed.”

The UI Fraud Taskforce encourages Georgians to report suspected unemployment abuse. The form can be found on the GDOL’s website.

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