LANSING- Susan Corbin, Acting Director State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) testified today in front of a joint oversight committee to reveal the results of an investigation conducted by Deloitte and Touche LLP into imposter fraud and intentional misrepresentation payments made by the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA).
We reported on last month's joint oversight meeting to no avail, as the same was said today.
Chair Steve Johnson (R-District 72) took a vote on a package of bills by Republicans to further help with transparency. All bills were voted out of committee with a majority vote.
While cards were read out by Chair Johnson in support of lack thereof, Pat Outman's (R-District 70) Bill, 5528 was read out in lack of support by the UIA. He asked Director Corbin as to why they were not in favor. But as usual there was no direct answer. Outman's House Bill 5528 would prevent from improperly paid benefits being charged to employer's accounts, their unemployment compensation or contingency fund.
During Corbin's presentation, Deloitte reported from March 2020 that there were two types of improper payment. Stolen identity (imposter fraud), which accounted for $8.3 billion and intentional misrepresentation that accounted in $6-7 billion.
She goes on to state that 97% of these were in federal funds and that the fraud rate from October 2020 to September 2021 was 57 percent fraud. But it's okay, we were paid money that wasn't ours anyways according to Corbin. That "only a couple hundred was state funds." But what about March to October of 2020?
Chair McBroom questioned Corbin as the report and presentation has double negatives and misrepresentation. Chair Johnson further comments stating there's no accountability. "You lost $8.5 billion and boast about how great you are?"
Senator Theis (R-District 22) asked about the previous director, Steve Gray who was given an $85,000 severance pay when he separated from the state and signed a confidentiality agreement. Theis pointed out the fact that waivers were offered to those that didn't respond and on March 24, 2020 and questioned whether or not Gray made the initial suggestion, and if not, who did? Theis requested Gray be brought in for questioning before the oversight committee.
Chair McBroom further went on to question on whose decision it was to remove Gray, and asked why Gray was moved out of UIA and back into the agency?
Chair Johnson also asked if there was a replacement for Gray when he was removed. Simple yes or no answer. And yet, no direct answer could be given by Corbin.
Representative John Reilly (R- District 46) asked who requested the audit, in which there actually was an answer (SHOCKING). Corbin replied the Governor requested Deloitte do the unemployment audit. In response, Reilly said, "I'd like to see the paperwork on the request for this."
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