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Fri Jul 17, 2020, 10:00 PM

Feds: Michigan unemployment contractor part of $2 million fraud scheme

Lansing A contract employee of Michigan's Unemployment Insurance Agency has been charged after allegedly taking part in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says.

Amid record jobless filings in Michigan, Brandi Hawkins, 39, of Detroit allegedly used her "insider access" at the agency "to fraudulently release payment on hundreds of fraudulent claims," according an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

She then used the "proceeds" of her crime to purchase high-end handbags and luxury goods, the announcement added.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Hawkins worked with outside actors who entered numerous false claims into the state's unemployment system. Hawkins released payment on the claims, leading to the fraudulent disbursement of more than $2 million, the complaint says. Authorities seized more than $200,000 in cash from her residence, according to the Department of Justice.

Hawkins was assigned to work as an unemployment insurance examine in April. She was terminated June 17, according to the complaint. But the complaint says the state's fraud investigation unit reviewed the audit logs for Hawkins's user account and determined that she continued to remotely access state systems after "her termination and was actively 'discarding' fraud-stops and releasing payment on hundreds of fraudulent claims until early July 2020."

Among the items authorities seized from her residence was "the Microsoft Surface tablet provided to her by her employer," the complaint says.


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Reply Feds: Michigan unemployment contractor part of $2 million fraud scheme (Original post)
MichMan Jul 2020 OP
JustABozoOnThisBus Jul 2020 #1
MichMan Jul 2020 #2

Response to MichMan (Original post)

Sat Jul 18, 2020, 05:10 AM

1. They fired her, and forgot to de-activate her user account in the system?

There's some incompetence here, bigly.

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #1)

Sat Jul 18, 2020, 05:54 AM

2. And didnt seize her state issued computer either

Sheer incompetence.

First thing that is usually done when anyone is terminated is to de activate any log ins etc. As an employee, if you find you no longer have access to log in, you might expect a visit by HR very shortly, especially if it is Friday.

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