Assemblyman Chiusano: Labor Dept. Cracking Down On Crime Saved Taxpayers More Than $100 Million

Assembly Republican Budget Committee member Gary Chiusano commended the Department of Labor’s aggressive anti-fraud and crime initiatives that have saved taxpayers more than $100 million in improper unemployment insurance claims last year, according to budget testimony today by Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths.

“Commissioner Wirths has rightfully decided that taxpayers will no longer be cheated by criminals scamming the unemployment fund and that anyone caught making an illegal claim will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Chiusano, R-Sussex, Morris and Warren, said. “The department’s anti-fraud efforts deserve the national recognition they deserve because fraudulent claims steal from taxpayers and people who really need the safety net that unemployment provides.”

Commissioner Wirths testified that the Department saved $100 million by proactively stopping people from filing claims after they return to work, saved $8 million with software aimed at stopping international organized crime efforts that try to beat UI systems throughout the nation and recently helping the Attorney General’s Office secure indictments against 31 people accused of being part of an organized crime that siphoned $2 million from the fund.

“Criminals should beware: If you try to steal from the taxpayers, you will get caught and prosecuted, sooner or later,” Chiusano said. “This Department is a true guardian of public dollars to the benefit of taxpayers and job seekers.” TLS.

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