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Probe Implicates D.C. Employees In Unemployment Fraud

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A probe has found that nearly $800,000 in unemployment benefits has been given to employees of the District.
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A probe has found that nearly $800,000 in unemployment benefits has been given to employees of the District.

Authorities in DC say they have uncovered a massive unemployment fraud scheme involving nearly 150 former and current city government employees.

The Mayor’s office says approximately 90 current government employees have been suspended and may be fired. They’re accused of cashing unemployment checks while working for the government and authorities say they have also identified 60 former employees who allegedly “double-dipped."

All told, city officials say at least $800,000 has been paid out in unemployed benefits to District employees since 2009.

Department of Employment Services director Lisa Mallory says she launched a rigorous review of the city’s unemployment insurance program shortly after taking over the agency last spring. She says investigators quickly discovered serious problems with the program. The findings were relayed to the city’s Attorney General as well as federal authorities. As a result, an internal probe was launched.

One of the employees placed on leave works for council chairman Kwame Brown and before that had worked in the office former council member Harry Thomas Junior, until the Ward 5 leader resigned last month after pleading guilty to stealing city funds.

City officials say some of the employees could be referred to the US Attorney’s office for criminal prosecution.

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