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Article updated: 10/2/2012 7:20 AM

Illinois gets grant to fight unemployment fraud

By

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois is getting $2.7 million to strengthen its efforts to fight waste and fraud involving unemployment claims.

The grant from the U.S. Labor Department will help beef up anti-fraud programs launched in the past year.

The state Department of Employment Security says it has begun garnishing tax returns of unemployment cheats; working more closely with the attorney general and holding business leaders personally liable for misstating company obligations.

The department said Monday that those efforts have saved taxpayers more than $120 million.

Rising unemployment claims take money from a trust fund supported by business taxes. When the fund gets too low, business taxes go up.

So preventing false claims takes some of the pressure off the unemployment trust fund.

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