March 4, 2010 - Austin Business Journal
The Texas Workforce Commission uncovered close to $904,000 worth in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims that must now be repaid.
False claimants criminally prosecuted for taking the money last year will return funds to the unemployment compensation trust fund, which supports Texans that lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
The state has recovered about $5 million from unemployment insurance fraud in the past three years, including fines paid by offenders. False claimants can also go to jail or be ordered to perform community service.
In the Austin area, 10 individuals were prosecuted for unemployment insurance fraud and will have to repay $69,799.
“All Texas employers pay the price when people cheat the system,” workforce commission Chairman Tom Pauken said. “It is vitally important that we protect this employer-paid fund and preserve it for those who are truly eligible to benefit from it.”
The workforce commission increased the minimum unemployment insurance tax rate to 0.72 percent from 0.26 percent, beginning Jan. 1, or about $41 per covered employee.