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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 17, 2022 01:24 PM
From: Representative John A. Lawrence
To: All House members
Colleagues –
The Department of Labor and Industry has over 38,000 outstanding Unemployment Compensation fraud cases.  Press reports indicate Pennsylvania has paid out over half a billion dollars in fraudulent claims.  During recent budget hearings, I asked Secretary Berrier how many fraud cases have been pending for more than one month – the answer I received was 37,971.  This is a massive, and growing, problem.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a press release a few weeks ago noting that nine individuals were recently charged with UC fraud.  While that is a good start, there are clearly many, many more instances of fraud that need to be addressed. 
In the recent State of the Union speech, the President announced the appointment of a Special Federal Prosecutor to investigate fraudulent payments made out of federal initiatives during the COVID pandemic.  With this in mind, I will introduce legislation directing the appointment of a Special State Prosecutor under jurisdiction of the Office of Inspector General.  This individual will be tasked with rooting out and prosecuting individuals who have used the COVID pandemic to fleece our Unemployment Compensation system to the tune of (more than) a half a billion dollars in fraudulent payouts. 
I would appreciate your support of this initiative to get serious about Unemployment Compensation fraud in this Commonwealth.

Introduced as HB2648