A new state-wide task force is warning people who may have committed or is thinking about committing unemployment insurance fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Attorney’s office announced the newly created Georgia Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force will combat fraud schemes targeting unemployment insurance benefits.
The task force will be funded by both state and federal dollars and will be administered by the Georgia Department of Labor.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, “during the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters have been perpetrating numerous lucrative UI fraud schemes at a significant rate”
The Georgia UI Fraud Task Force will handle evidence collection and offer guidance investigating complex fraud schemes.
“The sole purpose for unemployment insurance is to support people suffering during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history. It is unconscionable that individuals are corrupting the unemployment insurance system by essentially stealing benefits from our neighbors who are most in need at this time,” said Charlie Peeler, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia.
The task force will be made up of representatives from the Georgia Department of Labor, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Georgia’s Office of the Attorney General, FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), IRS--Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Social Security Administration--Office of the Inspector General.
The task force comes as federal officials announced the arrest of a DeKalb County woman facing federal fraud charges connected to an unemployment benefits scheme.