DENVER (CBS4)- Colorado is cracking down on people who are taking advantage of the unemployment benefits system. The Department of Labor said fraud has increased along with the number of claims.

A new law requires the state to report who has been over paid and by how much.

In a recent 3-month period, 34 people were convicted of fraud. They returned $264,000 back to employers who paid into the state’s fund.

The fraud isn’t just happening because people are collecting unemployment after they find a job. Some are not actively looking for work. That hurts all businesses, and especially small businesses.

“The more claims there are, the higher the rate, the more you pay the overhead for your employees,” said Capital Tea owner Lisa Biro.

“So we’ve increased our audits of work search history to make sure they’re making all those employer contact that they say they’re making,” said Colorado Department of Labor spokeswoman Cher Haavind.

Those caught committing unemployment fraud will be ordered to repay the money and pay a 50 percent penalty.


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