Guam Department of Labor director Dave Dell’Isola gave an update on unemployment payments and their fraud mitigation efforts.
As far as unemployment payments, Dell’Isola said that the most recent batch totaled about $17.2 million.
Of that amount:
$8.6 million…is PUA
$8.5 million…is FPUC
$90,000 …is LWA
And $2.2 million… is in taxes.
Dell’Isola said that the department has largely been successful in fighting attempts to defraud the PUA program.
Recently, 26-year old Jerome Michael Cruz of Barrigada was sentenced in the District Court of Guam to 10 months in prison.
Dell’Isola said that a handful of other investigations are still underway but didn’t provide any other details.
He said that although the PUA program was targeted for fraud almost immediately after being implemented, he’s proud of his department’s performance in preventing their success.
“Every once in a while they ask us for information on this case or that case. And so far, I’m happy to say that every single case that the Office of the Inspector General or U.S. Department of Labor has asked us or authorities in the states have asked us for information on those cases, we managed to say we’ve caught them and they haven’t gotten a cent. So our fraud measures have caught them before payment,” Dell’Isola said in an interview with NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo.
Dell’Isola also warned that falsifying the number of hours worked to qualify for PUA counts as fraud as well.