TWC Recovers $3.7 Million in Unemployment Insurance Fraud in 2012

AUSTIN, March 13, 2013 – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recovered $3.7 million in fraudulently obtained Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in Calendar Year 2012. TWC investigates and refers to local district attorney offices cases in which UI benefits are obtained through fraud or deception. These funds will be returned to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund from which TWC pays unemployment benefits to those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

In addition to restitution orders, individuals who commit UI fraud can be ordered to pay fines, perform hours of community service and some serve jail time. For a list of recent criminal dispositions listed by county, go to www.texasworkforce.org/ui/bnfts/prosecutiondispo.html.

Eighteen Harris County individuals and one person each from Montgomery County and Brazoria County were prosecuted for state UI fraud in 2012 and were ordered to pay a total of $208,486 in restitution.

“The Texas Workforce Commission takes a steadfast approach in protecting the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund through measures to detect and prevent fraud,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Our efforts result in millions being returned to the employer-paid fund, and preserve the fund for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.”

TWC’s Regulatory Integrity Division is charged with detecting and preventing fraud, waste and abuse. The division enforces all regulatory statutes within the jurisdiction of the agency, including Tax, Workforce, Trade Act, Skills Development, Self-Sufficiency, Child Care and all other programs that TWC administers. Prevention, detection and elimination of fraud, waste and abuse in the UI program are top priorities, ensuring that funds are available exclusively to those who meet the eligibility requirements.

TWC administers UI benefits to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and are actively seeking work. TWC regularly cross matches UI claims with employer wage reports and other databases to detect possible UI fraud. If TWC discovers that claimants have received UI benefits through fraudulent applications, the agency seeks immediate reimbursement of overpayments. Examples of UI fraud include giving false information and failure to report self-employment or other earnings while receiving UI benefits.

To report suspected UI fraud, call the TWC Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline at 800-252-3642.

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