Washington state employment agency processed fake claims

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A news station in Washington state has obtained records that show fraudulent unemployment claims were filed last year in the stolen identities of 59 state Employment Security Department employees. KING-TV reported that the department spotted fraud after it had paid the claim to the fraudster’s bank account in 10 of those cases. KING-TV submitted a public records request seven months ago for the documents, which do not show how much money was paid out. Officials say the department disabled security and verification processes to speed up payments to tens of thousands of Washington workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the process left the agency vulnerable to fraud.