Investigation underway after 4,200 ‘compromised’ unemployment insurance claims – The Virginian-Pilot

The Virginia Employment Commission announced this week that a criminal investigation is underway after the agency identified approximately 4,200 unemployment insurance claims that “may have been compromised.”

The agency issued a brief press release on the discovery on Wednesday that said money had been misallocated.

VEC said it had “isolated” the impacted claims to prevent “further activity” and had already been able to “recover” some funds. The agency is working to return these payments to clients.

Agency spokeswoman Joyce Fogg said in an email that VEC could not further define how the claims were “compromised”.

“We are committed to resolving this issue and working with law enforcement to prosecute those responsible for these actions,” VEC Commissioner Carrie Roth said in a statement.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the agency has struggled to make timely payments and decisions on complex cases and to respond to client requests. She faced issues with identity theft and other fraud issues, as well as issues related to a long-delayed transition to a new computer system.

Other agencies across the country have faced similar challenges amid increased pandemic-related demands. But Virginia’s response by some measures has been exceptionally poor. Gov. Glenn Youngkin has made improving the agency a key campaign pledge.

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