Maryland Labor Department Statement on Unemployment Insurance Fraud


BALTIMORE, MD (August 26, 2011) – The Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office indicted two individuals, Vivek Jain of Gaithersburg and Amiee Arora of Washington, D.C., yesterday on counts of aggravated identity theft and mail fraud. The indictments allege that the individuals filed for unemployment insurance with the Maryland Department of Labor (DLLR) using false identities.

While DLLR cannot comment directly on any pending criminal case, the Department released the following statement today commending the U.S. Attorney’s office for their efforts to prosecute fraud and touting the Division of Unemployment Insurance’s commitment to protect Maryland’s unemployment insurance trust fund and the state’s safety net for unemployed workers against illegal behavior.

“We applaud the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their tough stance on identity theft and fraud. While we cannot comment on any individual case, we are proud of our longstanding partnerships with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations and other law enforcement agencies to fight fraud. DLLR is fully committed to protecting the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund against fraud and commends all of our partners who work tirelessly to maintain the integrity of our safety net.”

DLLR maintains strict procedures to safeguard unemployment insurance claimant information and protect the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust against fraud. Information is encrypted when transmitted from DLLR to the agency’s credit card vendor. The agency also monitors all changes of addresses made by the Division of Unemployment Insurance to protect individuals from potential identity theft.

The Maryland Department of Labor Division of Unemployment Insurance, led by Assistant Secretary Julie E. Squire, oversees the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and administers payments to claimants. As early as 2005, the Maryland Department of Labor Division of Unemployment Insurance began planning for a prepaid debit card benefits program. Since December 2008 – when the program officially launched – the State of Maryland has issued more than 270,000 prepaid debit cards to Marylanders receiving unemployment insurance benefits, saving Marylanders $3.5 million and providing claimants with more direct access to their benefits. The new process also increases security, lowers the number of “stop payments” and protects claimants from the risk of missed payments because of a lost or stolen check.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. For updates and information, follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.