Colorado’s Republican congressional delegation is demanding a federal audit of what appears to be rampant fraud in COVID-related unemployment checks totaling hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide.
While the Office of Inspector General predicts nearly $89 billion has been improperly paid, the security company, ID.me estimates half of all claims totaling more than $400 billion are fraudulent, according to U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn.
Colorado uses ID.me as its verification service to prevent fraud in federal unemployment programs, which investigators say are being exploited by criminal syndicates using stolen identities to steal government benefits.
A letter requesting the audit to Larry Turner, the Labor Department’s acting inspector general, was signed by 28 Republicans including Lamborn, U.S. Reps. Ken Buck and Lauren Boebert.
“We must determine the total amount of money that has been fraudulently distributed throughout the last two years,” Lamborn said in a statement. “I am deeply concerned that American taxpayer dollars have even gone to overseas foreign nationals posing as American citizens. It is past time that the Department of Labor determine the total amount of taxpayer dollars that have been wasted.”
The Labor Department’s inspector general’s early prediction of $89 billion in fraud comes from an audit of the states, many of which did not perform the required oversight.