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Press Release

U.S. Attorney William D. Hyslop Addresses Reports of Fraudulent Unemployment Claims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – It has been reported that a potentially large number of fraudulent unemployment claims have been filed with and paid by the Washington State Department of Employment Security Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

United States Attorney William Hyslop stated, “It is deeply troubling to see these reports of fraudulent unemployment claims being filed and allegedly paid by the State Employment Security Department. These are our public tax dollars. These funds are intended for those in need, and not for fraudsters. We are advised the State is attempting to fix vulnerabilities in their system. We encourage ESD to advise the public how to determine whether a fraudulent email address has been posted on their personal employment security file and to provide sufficient fraud reporting hotlines so that the public may report the misuse of their personal identity information when that is determined.”

Hyslop went on to say, “Prosecuting the fraudsters is our job if federal laws have been violated. I want to assure the public that whether it is wire fraud, identity theft, or otherwise, we will endeavor to identify and prosecute the fraudsters who prey upon our citizens. This, and all types of COVID-19 fraud, cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Updated May 18, 2020