Wadsworth, OH – A new report by the Ohio State Auditor just found more than $3.8 billion in unemployment benefits were fraudulently or mistakenly paid by taxpayers. Under Mike DeWine’s watch, the “Ohio Department of Job and Family Services mistakenly paid $3.4 billion due to an error either by a worker, employer, or state officials, according to the audit. During the same period, more than $477 million was paid to claims later found to be fraudulent”


“The buck stops with Mike DeWine as billions of taxpayer dollars were mismanaged by inept or corrupt individuals in his administration,” Jim Renacci said. “Even as the alarm bells were sounding, DeWine sat idly by as fraudsters were taking advantage of Ohioans in their most vulnerable moment.”



The Cleveland Plain Dealer writes:


“The audit, released Thursday, provides new details about the massive amount of state and federal money paid to people who didn’t qualify for the money, as well as failures and problems within the state’s unemployment system that paid out billions.”

“In all, the money wrongly paid out equates to more than $673 for every Ohioan in the labor force, according to the audit. Most of Ohio’s jobless benefits paid during the coronavirus crisis were paid for with federal money -- either directly via federal benefits or indirectly because Gov. Mike DeWine used $1.5 billion in federal coronavirus aid to cover federal loans the state took out because its unemployment fund went broke in the summer of 2020.”



Ohio State Auditor Keith Faber slammed those who took advantage of vulnerable Ohioans dealing with the pandemic:


“It’s appalling that Ohioans in need were victimized not only by a pandemic that ravaged our economy, but by criminals who took advantage of a system that was outdated, overwhelmed and ill-prepared for the onslaught of unemployment claims caused by COVID. The fact that the Department neglected to acknowledge its failures until hundreds of millions of dollars in fraud and overpayments had been made, potentially delaying assistance from eligible and deserving Ohioans is more than disappointing.”


Just last month DeWine and Jon Husted tried to gaslight Ohioans by taking a victory lap for paying back an unemployment loan to the federal government – a loan that was only necessary because of their gross mismanagement – while billions of dollars were fraudulently dispersed under their watch. Instead of giving DeWine credit for paying off a loan he had to take out, Ohioans are now asking how he allowed Ohio’s unemployment system to become so fraudulently broken to begin with.