SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Unemployment agencies across the U.S. became lucrative targets for criminals when they were bombarded with claims last year as millions lost jobs due to coronavirus shutdowns.
Now, simple tax forms being sent to people who never collected unemployment benefits are revealing that their identity was likely stolen months ago and used to claim bogus benefits that have totaled billions of dollars nationwide.
In California alone, state officials say the fraud totaled at least $11 billion and likely much more.
In Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, his wife, Fran, and Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted all got bogus tax forms even though none of them had claimed unemployment benefits.