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Unemployment System Plagued by $63 Billion in Fraud, Dysfunction

March 23, 2021, 8:00 AM

President Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package will send billions of dollars to America’s jobless. It’s also a potential bonanza for scammers.

Throughout the Covid crisis, unemployment programs have served as a lifeline, channeling more than $650 billion over the past year to millions of struggling households. But the state-run agencies that distribute the funds have been overwhelmed, making their harried staff as well as their glitchy computer systems easy prey for criminals.

At least $63 billion in improper payments have been doled out since last year, much of it fraud, according to February estimates from a watchdog ...