DETROIT (Great Lakes News) – A former lead claims examiner for the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) pled guilty in a massive fraud scheme.

Prosecutors say 43-year-old Jermaine Rose used his access to the UIA database to approve claims submitted by other co-conspirators using fake documents and fake names. Rose also received kickbacks.

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Rose will be sentenced in July.

This isn’t the first time the embattled UIA has endured problems within its own department. An audit report released last month by Michigan’s Auditor General found the agency gave jobs to 169 people who’d previously been convicted of misdemeanors or felonies.

In October 2021, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer replaced UIA Director Liza Eastlund Olson with Julia Dale. The department had faced months of scrutiny over its handling of an influx of jobless claims during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions.

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That triggered long delays for thousands of claimants in getting their benefits.

In addition, another state audit report showed more than $8 billion in benefits handed out to fraudsters.