Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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April 1, 2013

Task force reveals unemployment fraud

INDIANAPOLIS — An unemployment fraud task force formed earlier this year by a state agency and prosecutors in Indianapolis is yielding its first arrests.

The Indianapolis Star reports (http://indy.st/XlQedi ) the joint task force between the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Marion County prosecutors resulted in charges in nine unemployment fraud cases last month.

The new initiative is targeting Indiana residents who steal money intended for workers who have lost a job and can't find a new one. State officials estimate that fraudulent unemployment claims in Indiana exceeded $13 million last year.

Workforce Development office spokesman Joe Frank says catching people bilking the government out of jobless benefits has become easier because most of the jobless claims process is now computerized.

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