(WASHINGTON) — Dozens of current and former government workers in Washington, D.C., have been accused of fraudulently receiving unemployment checks, scamming Uncle Sam out of nearly $1 million.
It’s believed that as many as 90 people in various branches of the government are involved in the scheme to fraudulently get paid jobless benefits. They’ve all been placed on leave and now face firing and possible prosecution.
What’s more, at least another 60 former city workers were also alleged to have received unemployment checks when they were on the government’s payroll.
Lisa Mallory, director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services, said as much as $800,000 was collected by the 150 current and former employees since 2009. Some of the accused received as much as $20,000, according to investigators, while others’ checks only totaled a few hundred dollars.
Mallory acknowledged while cases of suspected fraud are normally turned over to the inspector general, her office wanted to ensure that other government workers were aware of the seriousness of this alleged crime, adding, “Our focus is really on trying to deter. We want to make sure that individuals who owe this money are actually held accountable for these overpayments.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ben Winslow, CNN
Kevin Liptak, CNN
Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN
Mallory Simon, Tim Hume and Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN