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Pa. postal workers accused of unemployment fraud


the information in this audit report is stunning. Five years ago then auditor General Eugene DePasquale raised a red flag after his team audited the Department of Labor and Industry investigation found that in a four year period the department received 178 million in funding to update the unemployment compensation computer system. But that didn’t happen. The reality is we don’t know how they spent the money. The system was on the verge of collapse today, DePasquale stands by his office’s findings and says something should have been done a long time ago. Look, let’s be clear about this. What we found was 20 years in the making. So the fact that it Only that that process really only began in the 2018, It should have as as our audit pointed out started years earlier. But even after the audit, the system wasn’t changed. The unfortunate thing was nobody disagree with our findings. But then they started pointing fingers at each other. DePasquale believes both sides of the aisle should have taken his warning seriously. Covid and the disaster that happened. Certainly no one could have predicted that. But the idea that we would never have an economic downturn was unrealistic. While DePasquale is now in the private sector, he believes his audit recommendations are still valid periodically. There should always be a systems check. He’s happy to see a new system is finally in place and any new system is going to have bumps. I mean that’s you know, just but but it should have started earlier that that’s the problem. Now, at the time of the audit, the unemployment compensation computer system had dated back 40 years in 2006. The state did hire IBM to upgrade that system, but court records showed the state paid IBM $170 million 2013. At that point, the project was four years behind schedule and $60 million dollars over budget. A study done by Carnegie Mellon shows that little to none of the work that was done. It was even usable. Then. In 2013, the lawmakers passed Act 34 in an effort to fund and push forward improvements In 2016 that funding stream was stopped. Call centers were closed and 400 labor and industry employees lost their jobs while they had hoped to reopen those centers, most have remained shuttered.

Pennsylvania postal workers ordered to repay ‘fraudulently obtained’ pandemic unemployment assistance benefits

Two Pennsylvania postal workers will have to repay fraudulently obtained pandemic unemployment assistance payments, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.Related video above: Millions wasted, warning signs missed – Pennsylvania’s troubled unemployment system.Last week, United States Attorney Jacqueline Romero announced that the two workers will have to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars. Jaire Chance, 27, of Philadelphia, has agreed to a consent judgment of $100,399. Robert Day, 42, of Center Valley, Lehigh County, has agreed to a consent judgment of $110,610.Officials said the repayment will resolve allegations that the two violated the False Claims Act by improperly seeking pandemic unemployment assistance.”The United States alleges that Chance and Day made materially false and fraudulent statements to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to obtain PUA benefits, meant for individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended unemployment benefits. In fact, both were working full-time for the United States Postal Service for most or all of the time they were receiving PUA benefits,” a statement from the US Attorney’s Office said.Multiple agencies were involved in the investigations.”There is no excuse for any individual who fraudulently obtains money set aside to help victims of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Romero said in the statement. “The fraud alleged in this case is particularly egregious as it was perpetrated by a federal employee. The United States Attorney’s Office is ready to investigate and bring to justice any individual who abuses emergency assistance in this way.”Last year, WGAL investigated Pennsylvania’s unemployment system, problems with fraud and other ongoing issues. We aired a half-hour special showing what we found. You can watch that here.

Two Pennsylvania postal workers will have to repay fraudulently obtained pandemic unemployment assistance payments, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Related video above: Millions wasted, warning signs missed – Pennsylvania’s troubled unemployment system.

Last week, United States Attorney Jacqueline Romero announced that the two workers will have to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Jaire Chance, 27, of Philadelphia, has agreed to a consent judgment of $100,399.
  • Robert Day, 42, of Center Valley, Lehigh County, has agreed to a consent judgment of $110,610.

Officials said the repayment will resolve allegations that the two violated the False Claims Act by improperly seeking pandemic unemployment assistance.

“The United States alleges that Chance and Day made materially false and fraudulent statements to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to obtain PUA benefits, meant for individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended unemployment benefits. In fact, both were working full-time for the United States Postal Service for most or all of the time they were receiving PUA benefits,” a statement from the US Attorney’s Office said.

Multiple agencies were involved in the investigations.

“There is no excuse for any individual who fraudulently obtains money set aside to help victims of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Romero said in the statement. “The fraud alleged in this case is particularly egregious as it was perpetrated by a federal employee. The United States Attorney’s Office is ready to investigate and bring to justice any individual who abuses emergency assistance in this way.”

Last year, WGAL investigated Pennsylvania’s unemployment system, problems with fraud and other ongoing issues. We aired a half-hour special showing what we found. You can watch that here.



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