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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

Legal News Covers Robin Wagner's Arrival at PMP&R

From the Legal News Robin Wagner has joined Royal Oak, Mich. law firm Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers. The announcement was made by firm co-founding partner Cary McGehee. “We’re pleased to announce that Robin has joined our law firm,” said...

Robin Wagner Joins PMP&R as Associate

The firm is pleased to announce that Robin Wagner has joined our firm as an associate. Before joining the firm, Robin served as a law clerk for the Hon. Judith E. Levy of the Eastern District of Michigan. And prior to clerking for Judge Levy, Robin...

Morris Dees Honored as Champion of Justice by MCHR

The Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR) recognized the lifetime efforts of iconic civil rights attorney Morris Dees at its recent annual dinner held at Marygrove College in Detroit. Cary McGehee, firm co-founder and longtime MCHR Chair,...

Renowned Attorney Morris Dees Honored by MCHR

Cary McGehee presents Champion of Justice Award to Morris Dees at MCHR annual dinner.[/caption] The Michigan Coalition for Human Rights (MCHR) recognized the lifetime efforts of iconic civil rights attorney Morris Dees at its recent annual dinner...

Channing Robinson-Holmes Joins Firm as Attorney

Channing Robinson began working as a law clerk at the firm in October 2015 while she was still in law school. Since that time, she has devoted innumerable hours to the firm’s class actions against Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, as...

UIA Fraud Class-Action Continues to Gain Steam

In September 2015, firm attorneys filed a class-action lawsuit against the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). The complaint alleges that the automated system used for adjudicating unemployment insurance fraud, falsely accused as...