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Finstad introduces COVID-19 insurance fraud bill

U.S. Rep. Brad Finstad of Minnesota's 1st Congressional District introduced on Tuesday the Pandemic Unemployment Fraud Recoupment Act, which would ensure accountability for individuals who defrauded American taxpayers by improperly receiving federal COVID-19 unemployment insurance (UI). Sen. Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate earlier this year. The bill would extend the statute of limitations for fraud in pandemic UI programs such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and the Lost Wages Assistance programs from five years to 10 years, giving law enforcement more time to prosecute these cases of fraud. Additionally, the Pandemic Unemployment Fraud Recoupment Act would set the statute of limitations on overpayments through these programs at 10 years. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment insurance programs were put in place to help millions of Americans during tough financial times," Rep. Finstad said. “However, fraudsters wrongfully took advantage of these benefits, cheating taxpayers out of their hard-earned money. Taxpayers deserve answers and accountability for the fraud that occurred within these programs, and this commonsense legislation will allow federal law enforcement agencies more time to pursue cases of fraud and ultimately return the taxpayer dollars that were improperly used.” Finstad is joined by 16 cosponsors on the legislation.

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