State apologizes for UIA fraud fiasco, wants to reduce penalties

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state official who's conducting a wide-ranging review of Michigan's embattled unemployment benefits office is apologizing for the fiasco that led at least 20,000 people to be falsely accused of fraud.

Talent Investment Agency Director Wanda Stokes adds that lawmakers should consider reducing the country's highest financial penalties for unemployment fraud.

She told The Associated Press that people affected are angry and she is, too. She says their plight "shouldn't have happened."

Stokes, who took charge of the umbrella agency that oversees the unemployment office in July, says Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed her to "assess the situation and then fix it." The office's director was recently reassigned.

The state is halting all collection activities against people who were subject to fraud determinations over a nearly two-year period.

The phone number for the new hotline is 1-800-638-6372.

The FOX 17 Problem Solvers have been investigating the UIA for over two years. If you have a problem with the UIA, you can send us an email at problemsolvers@fox17online.com .

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9 comments

  • J.B.

    That is about right…
    Oh, we mistakenly accused you all of fraud and hit you with thousands in fees and penalty’s..
    We admit it was a complete mistake and apologize sincerely for our error.
    To make it up to you, Now you only have to pay for half of your fake fraud claims,
    Thanks for calling marvin! Good Bye!

  • Trevor

    i had this issue when I applied for unemployment last year. I had to get help with it because I was denied. The consultant I used already knew what the state was doing and when the news contacted him, most of what he said was taken out due to it being “too real”.

    • Darren Cunningham

      “…when the news contacted him, most of what he said was taken out due to it being “too real”.” Care to explain what you’re talking about? I haven’t censored anything on this. In fact, take time to research my work on this issue.

  • Kelly W

    This situation is very frustrating. I have been battling this since 2012. I just finally had the “fraud” charges removed but according to the state I still owe more money. Back in 2012 I hired a lawyer and have had barely any progress. Thousands of dollars lost on a lawyer and all of my state tax returns kept from me since then. It would be nice to get this cleared up ….5 years later.

    • YM

      I am in the same exact situation. I had the fees dropped but still paid and owe a few thousand. It was all due to misdirection by the UE office and Michigan Works. I tried to contact them recently and they said “I don’t count” as part of the investigation because I had my fraud fees dropped. If I was not misdirected I would have never owed anything in the first place. They take zero responsibility.

  • Annemarie

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