Jacobs Calls for Accountability Following Explosive Reports of Pandemic Payment Fraud

POMONA – State Rep. Paul Jacobs says a recent audit revealed by the Illinois Auditor General’s Office shows the state paid more than $5 billion in overpayments and fraud.

“These reports of fraud, mismanagement, abuse, and outright incompetence at IDES during the height of the pandemic need further investigation. This is no small issue, like a decimal point being in the wrong place on a government report. This is $5 Billion dollars in fraud against our taxpayers,” Jacobs said. “The size and scope of the abuse at the Department of Employment Security requires accountability at the highest levels of government.”

Jacobs says throughout the pandemic, his constituents struggled to make contact with anyone at IDES to assist them with legitimate claims. The 118th district State Rep. says the failure to manage state agencies is something that taxpayers will repeatedly pay the price for.

“This is just one example of the mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is most certainly a glaring and costly one,” Jacobs said.

Rep. Jacobs also says job creators throughout the state will feel the financial impact of pandemic management failures. A lengthy fight over how to pay back the state’s unpaid unemployment insurance trust fund debt cost Illinoisans millions in penalties and interest.

“The State of Illinois should have used CARES or ARPA funds to pay off the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund liability in its entirety so that job creators wouldn’t be harmed due to the pandemic,” Jacobs said. “Instead, these dollars were funneled into pet projects and ultimately expanded programs that we are still paying for today. Taxpayers deserve more answers and full accountability from everyone involved in the management of the distribution of unemployment insurance funds.”