CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — As we first reported weeks ago, some people are trying to rip off the West Virginia unemployment system.
At Friday’s COVID-19 briefing, WorkForce West Virginia confirmed it has now received more than 35,000 fraudulent unemployment claims.
While many of them were filed from computers outside of this country, the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office are helping the investigation and have some local suspects.
“We’ve identified several folks here in the Charleston area, who are responsible for some of the fraud. And I can tell you those folks are going to be aggressively pursued and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Scott Adkins, WorkForce West Virginia.
Many of the fraud attempts used information obtained from identity thefts. Meanwhile, West Virginia officials are keeping an eye on 20 other states were COVID-19 has spiked again. They say crowds of unprotected protesters and vacationers are the problem.
“You see pictures of a lot of people that are out and they are close together and perhaps are not wearing face coverings or masks. So that distancing and the mask-wearing is a real issue,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia COVID-19 Czar.
In another development, Justice now says COVID-19 testing has been completed on all 14,000 and employees of the state corrections system.
The Governor says fewer than one-third of the local governments in West Virginia have applied for federal aid under the CARES Act. That’s the $1.25 billion dollars Congress sent here to help, but so far only $2.6 million dollars of it has been handed out.