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News, Free Press, Fox 17, AP Cover State UIA Refund Announcement

From the Detroit News

Lansing --- The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency made nearly 48,000 false fraud accusations against jobless claimants over a roughly two-year period and is in the process of refunding affected residents more than $20.8 million.

The Michigan Talent and Investment Agency, which oversees the unemployment division, announced Friday it has completed an extensive review of fraud determinations made between October 2013 and August 2015 and reversed 43,928 cases. Another 4,058 determinations were overturned through a traditional appeals process.

The agency reviewed 62,784 unemployment fraud accusations that involved nearly 50,000 people, and 4,955 cases were resolved through appeals. The original determinations were processed, in part or full, by an automated computer system.

The false fraud scandal has clouded Gov. Rick Snyder's administration since at least late 2016, when the agency reversed an initial batch of 20,965 determinations made by the computer system during a review first requested by U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak.

All told, the state has now reversed 85 percent of the 40,195 fraud determinations made by an automated computer system without any human review. Another 22,589 fraud complaints were initiated by the computer program but referred to a human investigator. The state reversed 44 percent of those cases during its latest review.

Jennifer Lord, lead attorney in a potential class-action lawsuit against the state, said she does not think the $20.8 million in refunds announced Friday go far enough to fully compensate wrongly accused people who suffered financial harm when their income taxes or wages were seized.

"I think this is a limited, positive step forward," Lord said, noting some claimants have contacted her firm to say they received a refund, but not for the full amount including principal. "I have some big concerns that the math doesn't seem to add up to me."

You can read the entire Detroit News story here.   Other Coverage:

FOX 17/West Michigan ("Mich. Reverses 44,000 Jobless Fraud Cases, Refunds $21 Million")

News Observer/Associated Press ("Michigan Reverses 44,000 Jobless Fraud Cases, Refunds $21 M")

Detroit Free Press ("Michigan Agency Review Finds 70% Error Rate in Jobless Fraud Findings")

M. Pitt Cited in MLive Report on Midland Area Couple's Claim Filed Against the Federal Energy Resource Commission in Edenville Dam Collapse

Michael Pitt was quoted in MLive coverage of the claim filed against the Federal Energy Commission by a Midland Couple for property and personal damages caused by flooding after the collapse of the Edenville Dam in May 2020. The firm is representing Dan and Cathy Miller and filed a $1.25 million claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Read entire article here.

Midland Daily News -- "Lawsuit Blames State Agencies for Dam Failures"

Mike Pitt, Ted Leopold and Paul Stephen were referenced as plaintiffs' attorneys in a Midland Daily News report on the lawsuit filed June 25 in the Michigan Court of Claims. The coverage notes that the suit's 15 plaintiffs owned property and homes which were damaged or destroyed in the May 19 Midland area flooding caused by the collapse of the Edenville Dam. Read full article here.