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Free Press Discusses UIA Fraud with PMP&R's Lord

From the Detroit Free Press LANSING, MI Months after Grand Rapids resident Jonna Ferguson stopped collecting unemployment in the mail, she got a letter saying she owned the state $20,000. "Opening a letter that says that I had defrauded the state of Michigan, it was shocking. It was like 'what did I do, I must have done something wrong,'" Ferguson said. She was laid off when Corinthian Colleges shut down the Everest Institute in Grand Rapids. She spent a few months collecting unemployment and looking for a job, and when she found one promptly notified the state and stopped collecting unemployment. But a state computer system flagged her case as possibly fraudulent. It sent messages to her online account through the state's unemployment system, but with no notification via phone or email. When she didn't respond, the computer system decided she was defrauding the state and mailed her fines. Ferguson's case isn't unique. According to a report from the Office of the Auditor General, that same computer system issued 60,324 determinations finding intentional misrepresentation by unemployment recipients. The computer system doing that flagging is the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System, or MiDAS. Implemented in 2013, it was supposed to help the state's Unemployment Insurance Agency be more efficient in a number of areas, including determining fraud. But MiDAS was only sending notifications to online accounts that in many cases people were no longer using. Jennifer Lord, a partner with Royal Oakbased Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers law firm, specializes in employment law. She became aware of the change because people contacted her law firm. "Prior to 2012, 2013 we would get maybe one client a year that was having some sort of an issue with their unemployment. And then all of a sudden we started seeing this influx of clients," Lord said. Read the Entire Story Here

Jennifer Lord Named to 2016 Women in the Law

Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers Partner Jennifer Lord has been selected as one of 2016 Women in the Law by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Lord was honored September 16 at the legal newpaper's seventh annual luncheon and awards celebrating those who...

McGehee and MCHR Prepare for Freedom Tour

From the Detroit Free Press Two dozen students wielded rakes, brooms and garbage bags Saturday as they cleaned up Viola Liuzzo Park in northwest Detroit. The group plans to travel in June to the Deep South, then spend a week touring sites of civil...

WSU Professor Awarded $300K in Age Discrimination Case

[caption id="attachment_1378" align="alignleft" width="225"] Dr. Karen Hrapkiewicz[/caption] Wayne State University is appealing a jury verdict received by veterinary professor Dr. Karen Hrapkiewicz in an age discrimination action handled by firm...

McGehee Featured on WXYZ TV Spotlight Program

Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers Partner Cary McGehee was featured on the April 17 edition of WXYZ TV 7's Spotlight on the News program to discuss class action lawsuits the firm has filed as a result of the Flint water crisis. Spotlight on the...