Fraudulent Unemployment Claims Under ‘Kimberly Kardashian’ and ‘Kylie Jenner’ Slip Through Cracks
According to an article by Jessica Schladebeck of the New York Daily News, two claims filed in the state of Michigan under the names “Kimberly Kardashian” and “Kylie Jenner” were approved in May 2020. It’s quite clear that the famous California sisters weren’t behind this. But…how did this happen?
Like the rest of the country, Michigan’s unemployment agency was completely overwhelmed with claims as the coronavirus pandemic raged. Schladebeck stated, “Officials said they opted for the mass approval method because sorting through and verifying each request would significantly delay valid claims,” even though they estimated that approximately 10% of claims would indeed be fraudulent.
So ‘Kim” and ‘Kylie’ of Traverse City, MI were each awarded approximately $7,000 in unemployment backpay, equivalent to about eight weeks. “Just days later, the state’s fraud management software flagged the claims, calling for additional ID verification, but it was already too late,” said Schladebeck.
Unemployment fraud has become a pandemic in itself, in Michigan and around the rest of the United States. The article highlights that in Michigan alone, “The UIA has received more than 50,000 reports from individuals reporting unemployment fraud and identity theft in their name through its website since March 15, 2020, with more 40,000 sent since May 1, 2020. The agency will continue to work with Task Force members in its investigation of these reports.”