New York to Unemployment Fraudsters: We're Looking for You
First we lost our jobs, often most undeservedly so. Then we had to worry about identity theft during our job search (a job search, by the way, more difficult than usual due to a continuing lack of jobs.) And now, people are actually stealing our unemployment!?
Wow, talk about unfair. Not to mention bad karma. But the law is on the case:
New York's State Labor Commission announced today that 53 people have been arrested for allegedly stealing almost $250,000 in unemployment benefits they didn't deserve. Most of those arrested had collected unemployment benefits while earning a paycheck, spending the fraudulently obtained unemployment checks on "casino trips, nail salons, online video games, online dating services, even sexual enhancement products," according to Labor Commissioner Patricia Smith.
And there are another 70 folks said to have taken $300,000 in unemployment benefits. "Those who are filing fraudulently, wake up, we're out there, we're looking for you, we will find you, stop doing it now," said Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelmann.
This should be a wake-up call for the baddies out there, and also a good reminder to all of us. Here's a handy refresher on what you need in order to collect unemployment, and links to unemployment offices by state.