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")

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