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Monroe County battles unemployment insurance fraud

By THOMAS ADAMS - 4/30/2013 3:41:53 PM

Convictions in Monroe County unemployment insurance fraud cases resulted in the return of nearly $135,000 to state coffers in 2012, third highest in New York, officials announced Tuesday.

The county’s $134,723.77 trailed Orange County’s $178,033 and Queens County’s $153,587.50, state officials said.

The state recouped nearly $1.9 million for the unemployment insurance trust fund last year through prosecutions involving the state Department of Labor and various state district attorneys, officials said.

The trust fund is funded by New York employers. It paid out nearly $7.1 billion in benefits to 1.1 million people in 2012.

“Unemployment insurance fraud drives up costs for honest businesses and jeopardizes the benefits of the workers who rely on this vital safety net,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

“Such criminal activity should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I applaud our local partners who pursue these cases for their vital help in returning these stolen funds back to the unemployment insurance trust fund.”

The Monroe County District Attorney’s office ranks first this year with convictions resulting in the return of $92,081, state officials said.  

“With violent crime dominating headlines, it’s easy to forget that millions of dollars each year are stolen from New York taxpayers in the form of fraudulent insurance claims," Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said in the statement.

“One year ago, I created the specialized Economic Crime Bureau to protect taxpayers from this abuse and hold these criminals accountable, and it has been a tremendous success.”

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