Watchdog: Follow the Money

Illinois cracking down on unemployment fraud

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Associated Press,Watchdog,Watchdog Blog,Illinois,Chicago,Entitlements,Waste and Fraud,Follow the Money,Unemployment

CHICAGO — State officials in Illinois say they're cracking down on unemployment fraud.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that so far this year it has collected $26 million in federal tax refunds from people who knowingly collected unemployment insurance while working. The department says they've collected more than $120 million over the length of the 3-year-old program.

State officials say people who owe IDES money because of fraud won't receive future benefits until their debts are paid.

IDES says it has confiscated federal tax refund more than 58,000 times over the last three year. IDES says the garnishment program is making a difference. They say about 920 people entered repayment plans in its first year. Now that number is nearly 3,500.

IDES announced the numbers late last week.

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