Unemployment fraud costs state millions

Published 09/05 2012 04:58PM

Updated 09/05 2012 05:30PM

SPRINGFIELD -- Thousands of people are accused of cashing in on jobless benefits they didn't deserve. Now, the state has found a new way to get the money back.

The fraud has cost businesses millions. Businesses help pay unemployment benefits workers get when they're laid off.

State officials found workers cheating the system. 12,000 people took nearly $46 million in jobless benefits even though they were still working.

Previously, Illinois could take someone's income tax refund as a way to pay back the money. Now, the state can go after someone's federal tax refund as well.

If the tax money doesn't cover the debt, the state will withhold future benefits until it's all paid off. Those 12,000 people have been given warnings. They'll only lose their tax refunds if they refuse a repayment plan.

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