DETROIT (WWJ) – Unemployment compensation fraud charges — that’s what 33 current and former City of Detroit employees are facing.
This, after about a year investigating the crime by the City of Detroit Office of Inspector General, the City of Detroit Human Resources Department, the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. Detroit Inspector General James Heath says the workers in six city departments defrauded the city of more than $400,000.
“The charges come from six different departments: the finance department, the department of human resources, the elections department, general services department, recreation and department of public works,” says Heath.
Heath says when the workers “double-dipped” — getting a city paycheck and unemployment benefits — that impacted other city services.
“That’s keeping Detroit police officers off the streets; and so, it’s important that we take this level of fraud seriously — and we do — because it has a direct impact on the citizens of the city,” says Heath.
A statement, Thursday, by the Office of the Inspector General says, in part, “The City of Detroit reimburses the State of Michigan dollar-for-dollar for unemployment payments it makes to laid-off Detroit employees. Therefore, any funds paid out as the result of fraud directly hurts Detroit’s ability to provide services to its citizens.”
Inspector Heath says the case is open and the investigation continues. Arraignments should take place over the next several days.