BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD)- Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana has seen its unemployment rates hit an all time high, hundreds of businesses forced to close their door and employees out of work.
More than $400 million in Louisiana unemployment benefits were disbursed to individuals who did not qualify to receive them, with $6.2 million in benefits that went to prisoners in Louisiana and $1.08 million in benefits paid to the deceased.
Attorney General Jeff Landry announced arrests made by his office related to COVID-19 unemployment fraud, stealing over $1 million of government benefits.
“With the unemployment system being as overwhelmed and insecure as it has been, it is no surprise that bad actors are coming out of the woodworks to take advantage of it,” said Attorney General Landry. “So my office will continue investigating false claims and doing what we legally can to bring criminals to justice.”
Louisiana Bureau of Investigation (LBI) agents learned multiple group of individuals who conspired to defraud both Louisiana and California COVID-19 unemployment benefits.
The arrests were made with the assistance from the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office, Addis Police Department, U.S. Department of Labor, and LWC.
“Crime has no geographical boundaries and because of our partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, neither do we,” said Sheriff Brett Stassi. “These partnerships are a crucial part in curbing crime and corruption in our communities.”
To read the full press release and the list of arrests made in connection to the unemployment fraud, click here.