DENVER (AP) — A state audit has found that Colorado likely or potentially paid $73.1 million in fraudulent unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic’s first year.
That figure includes $3.9 million paid on behalf of dead people and $5 million on behalf of people who were unqualified because they were incarcerated.
The Office of the State Auditor report was released Monday. It cited a nationwide surge in criminal identity theft used to seek federal and state pandemic unemployment aid as an underlying factor in payments in the names of dead and incarcerated people.
It also cited pressure to expedite federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal loosening of restrictions in disbursement, and inadequate state quality controls to capture the cascade of fraudulent claims.