Theft of state unemployment benefits largely unprosecuted

Jul 15, 2012

Unemployment insurance fraud is not a new problem in New York State, but it is a crime that many scofflaws get away with.

According to the Buffalo News, the state pays nearly $150 million annually to pay bogus claims, yet only approximately 3 percent of those claims get prosecuted. County district attorneys across the state determine which cases to prosecute, generally selecting the most egregious frauds.

The problems with prosecution tend to be issues of a lack of manpower and difficulty in collecting concrete evidence against the perpetrators.

Those committing the fraud could face felony charges of grand larceny and the use of a false instrument.