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Economy

IDES Trying to Solve PUA Fraud Scheme

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The Illinois Department of Employment Security is working with law enforcement to track down those responsible for a fraud scheme involving the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
During a briefing Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker said IDES is also trying to track down and cut off fraudulent unemployment claims by reviewing flagged files and identifying patterns. But, he said it's not easy.

"The highly-experienced money launderers who have perpetrated these crimes use the same payment methods that regular filers do. For that reason, IDES can't simply cutoff common dispersal mechanisms that also serve as life lines for innocent users."

The governor said IDES has uncovered over 120,000 counts of fraud...that includes 107,000 in the PUA program and about 14,000 in the standard system since the beginning of March. The fraud scheme is sending debit cards and money to people who don't live in Illinois or who have not applied for unemployment.