Criminals may have stolen as much as half of the unemployment benefits the U.S. has been pumping out over the past year, some experts say.
Why it matters: Unemployment fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion, according to some estimates, and the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates — making this not just theft, but a matter of national security.
Catch up quick: When the pandemic hit, states weren’t prepared for the unprecedented wave of unemployment claims they were about to face.
- They all knew fraud was inevitable, but decided getting the money out to people who desperately needed it was more important than laboriously making sure all of them were genuine.
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