LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan says it has halted payments to 340,000 unemployment benefit accounts over concerns about fraudulent impostor claims, though many are legitimate claimants who deserve the money.
Jeff Donofrio, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, said Friday that people’s “economic lifeline is now tied up due to this criminal scheme.”
Michigan has seen a staggering 2.2 million new jobless claims since the coronavirus pandemic began in March and businesses were closed to curb the spread of the virus.
About 1.7 million people have been paid. Donofrio says people with flagged accounts were sent instructions to verify their identity.