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State asks courts to dismiss warrants against people accused of fraud

Jul 20, 2017

Credit Shawn / flickr

The state of Michigan is dropping charges and arrest warrants against nearly 200 people accused of illegally collecting unemployment benefits.

The warrants were issued against people who never showed up for court hearings after they were accused of defrauding the unemployment system. In many cases, the accused never knew they were charged with a crime.

The Michigan Talent Investment Agency asked for the arrest warrants to be dismissed because there’s a good chance the people accused actually didn’t do anything wrong.

That’s because a computer foul-up caused thousands of people being wrongly accused. Not only that, many were sanctioned as much as four times the amount they collected in jobless benefits.

The next step is for the agency to complete its review of 28,000 cases, and dismiss charges against people it determines were innocent. 

Wanda Stokes, head of the Talent Investment Agency, says the action is being taken "out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of justice." She says more than $16 million has been or will be returned to people across Michigan whose tax refunds or wages were wrongly seized.