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Post-amnesty, Pa. labor department stepping up unemployment payment referrals to law enforcement

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The state Department of Labor and Industry said it is increasing its unemployment compensation fraud investigation efforts and making more referrals to law enforcement.

“Increased efforts to root out fraud are the next logical steps, post-amnesty,” department Secretary Julia Hearthway said in a news release.

This summer the agency embarked on an amnesty effort for employers to make good on mandatory tax contributions not made to the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund and for claimants to do the same if they received more benefits than they were entitled to.

“Those owing the state’s UC fund had a 90-day window to make their accounts current and if they chose not to do so, then they may find themselves in a lot of hot water,” Hearthway also said in the release.

More than 130,000 individual claimants and nearly 50,000 employers had gotten letters telling them about amnesty, what they owed and how to pay it, the agency said in August in an update statement before the deadline.

The department said today it should be releasing results in the near future.

The department’s Office of Integrity Wednesday, announced recent fraud investigation results involving two individuals sentenced to incarceration and said that more than 50 cases have been referred to law enforcement.

The agency established the office in 2011 to fight fraud, waste and abuse.

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey

Brent Burkey covers York County, agribusiness, energy and environment, and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at brentb@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @brentburkey.

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