State collects $7.3M in crackdown on unemployment fraud

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The state of Mississippi has collected $7.3 million thus far from its efforts to crackdown on unemployment fraud.

Mark Henry, executive director of Mississippi Department of Employment Security, says the money came from people caught collecting unemployment benefits while working.

The recovered funds will go to the Unemployment Benefits Trust Fund. The fund provides benefits to those who are unemployed. The fund can also help hold down unemployment taxes paid by employers.

MDES recovers fraudulently obtained benefits through direct repayment, wage garnishment and tax refund garnishment.

The agency has garnished state income tax refunds as a means of recovering funds.

On Jan. 30, the agency also began garnishing federal income tax refunds.

Henry says MDES verifies the records of unemployment recipients against current payroll records submitted by employers.

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