JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves spent most of his press conference Monday addressing the state’s response to unemployment fraud.
“It can have serious consequences for you and it can have serious consequences for the system,” he said. “Please guard your personal information closely.”
Reeves said the state is trying its hardest to prevent any fraudulent claims but knows some have gotten through.
US Attorney Mike Hurst attended Monday’s conference as well as Director Jackie Turner, who provided updates on what MDES is doing to divert these fraudulent claims.
The state has so far paid out over one billion dollars in unemployment funds, Turner said. This has come out of Mississippi’s trust fund as well as money allocated through the CARES Act.
When speaking, Attorney Hurst added that up to 26 billion could be wasted in unemployment fraud from across the country through these fraudulent claims.
“We will, in the United States Attorney’s Office, prosecute this to the fullest extend of the law,” Hurst said. “We actually have expertise in this.”
He said that in the days after Hurricane Katrina, the federal government send money to Mississippi and fraud was also discovered at that time.
Hurst says if you are a victim of fraud to please reach out to local law enforcement.
With Monday’s update from Mississippi Department of health, there are nearly 20,000 total coronavirus cases and 900 deaths reported within the state.