RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Attorney General Jason Miyares — in association with Governor Glenn Youngkin — has signed an agreement with the Virginia Employment Commission to prosecute fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation.
A release from the Governor’s Office describes how Virginia has been inundated with fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a tremendous amount of work to be done to refocus on our customers, the individuals and employers, and get them the resources they need,” said Commissioner Carrie Roth. “Working with the Attorney General’s office, we are increasing our efforts to go after those who are committing fraud and taking from Virginians the benefits they are entitled to receive.”
According to the Governor’s Office release, most fraudulent claims have been perpetuated through identity theft by organized criminal rings. In April, the Employment Commission was forced to disable certain online services in order to investigate cases of fraud.
When 8News asked the Employment Commission to disclose the number of fraud cases in July, it refused.
“The exact number can not be disclosed,” said the commission’s spokesperson, Joyce Fogg. “It is safe to say that fraud is at an unprecedented level.”
“The VEC has asked that I take on this responsibility, and I enthusiastically agreed to the VEC’s request,” Miyares said. “Fraudulent claims must be prosecuted and fraud on the unemployment fund diverts resources from those who need them most.”