WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Nearly 300 Now Implicated In D.C. Unemployment Fraud Scheme

Play associated audio
Several former council staffers and at least one current D.C. Council staff member are under investigation for unemployment fraud. 
Mallory Noe-Payne
Several former council staffers and at least one current D.C. Council staff member are under investigation for unemployment fraud. 

The scope of a massive unemployment fraud scheme involving District government workers continues to expand, as the number of employees under investigation for double-dipping now stands at nearly 300. The list includes current and former D.C. Council staff members, according to sources.

Five council staffers implicated are no longer employed, but one — an employee in Council member Muriel Bowser's office — still works for the city, sources tell WAMU.

Bowser did not specifically address the accusations about a staffer in her office in comments this week. When asked if she was aware of anyone on her staff implicated in the scheme, she instead spoke of the larger scandal.

"I know that hundreds of people that have been identified as getting over-payments," she said. "It's my policy not to discuss personnel matters in my office. I will tell you this, I am looking at the full scope of the investigation."

Added Bowser: "I  want to see all of the actions that are taken. Clearly, it's problematic … more than problematic -- it’s alarming.”

The scope of the scandal is growing. Investigators have identified nearly 200 additional employees who allegedly took part in the scam to receive unemployment while working for the city government, bringing the total number of city government employees under investigation to nearly 300, WAMU has learned through sources and documents.

The crackdown on the unemployment fraud began last year, when Mayor Vincent Gray appointed Lisa Mallory to take over the city's Department of Employment Services. 

The total amount of money paid out to these employees in unemployment checks could exceed millions of dollars. So far, 61 employees have been fired, although authorities expect that number to climb in the coming weeks.


Not My Job: Sharon Jones Gets Quizzed On Handshakes

We've invited the lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings to play a game called "Let's shake on it."

Salvage Supperclub: A High-End Dinner In A Dumpster To Fight Food Waste

The ingredients — think wilted basil, bruised plums, garbanzo bean water — sound less than appetizing. Whipped together, they're a tasty meal that show how home cooks can use often-tossed foods.

5 Takeaways From The Democratic National Convention

As conventioneers head home after a dramatic DNC, here are 5 takeaways from Philadelphia.

How Your Health Data Lead A Not-So-Secret Life Online

Apps can make managing health care a lot easier, but most don't have the privacy protections required of doctors and hospitals. And a simple Web search can clue in advertisers to health concerns.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.