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Iowa Workforce Development paid $97,000 to fictitious firms, audit finds

Iowa Workforce Development paid $97,000 to fictitious firms, audit finds

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DES MOINES (AP) — A state audit has revealed that Iowa Workforce Development paid more than $97,000 in unemployment benefits to people in the state who claimed to work for companies that didn’t exist in 2013 and 2014.

The agency also paid more than $66,000 to people not eligible for unemployment payments in other states, according to the audit released Friday. The improper payments are part of more than $909,000 the state lost over a three-year period for which the state auditor reviewed records.

Iowa Auditor Mary Mosiman said the audit found 20 fictitious company accounts. It’s unclear who set up the accounts.

Mosiman said the workforce agency removed some of the accounts from its computer systems, leaving only limited information to investigate further.

No one has been charged. An Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation spokesman said the division has not been asked by any state or federal agency to assist in an investigation.

Mosiman said her auditors are working with workforce agency to implement and consistently follow procedures to “make sure this kind of situation doesn’t happen again.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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