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Staffer Implicated In Unemployment Fraud Still Works For Council

As many as five current and former D.C. Council employees were implicated in unemployment fraud, including one staffer still working for Muriel Bowser.
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As many as five current and former D.C. Council employees were implicated in unemployment fraud, including one staffer still working for Muriel Bowser.

New details have been uncovered in the city’s investigation into a massive unemployment fraud scheme involving D.C. government workers.

As WAMU first reported this year, D.C. fired 61 government employees for receiving unemployment checks while working for the city. New information has emerged that some of the double-dipping employees implicated in the scheme involve current and former D.C. Council staffers and at least one federal government employee.

Sources say five of the Council staffers under investigation no longer work for the city, but one, a part-time employee in Councilmember Muriel Bowser’s office, is still drawing a paycheck from D.C. taxpayers. Sources also say that Councilmembers were notified about the staffers several weeks ago.

Councilmember Bowser has not returned repeated requests for comment.

Meanwhile, WAMU has also found court records showing that one of the most egregious examples of unemployment fraud involved a federal government employee. According to court records, Adriane Fisher — who at the time worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — cashed more than $20,000 in fraudulent unemployment checks over a one and half year span. And Fisher, according to records, lives in Maryland and not D.C., which further highlights the program’s lack of safeguards.

Fisher pleaded guilty last year, paid the city back, and received a six month suspended sentence. The fraud scheme was uncovered last year, when Mayor Gray appointed Lisa Mallory to take over the Department of Employment Services.

And sources say investigators continue to uncover more cases as they go back and look at old records.

Evidence of Unemployment Fraud by Adriane Fisher
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