Detroit: 18 city employees collected unemployment while working

Detroit: 18 city employees collected unemployment while working

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DETROIT (WJBK) - More than 30 current or former city of Detroit employees have been charged with illegally collecting unemployment benefits.

The city's inspector general announced results of the investigation Thursday. James Heath says nearly $400,000 was paid by the state for illegal benefits. The charges cover fraud committed as far back as 2008.

Heath says 18 of the 33 people are current city employees. Heath has recommended these employees be terminated and barred from working for the city in the future.

The charge of giving false statements while applying for unemployment benefits is a one-year misdemeanor. Arraignments are expected to take place over the next few days.

The fraud occurred in many departments, from water and recreation to finance and general services. More charges could be filed.

The city of Detroit reimburses the state of Michigan dollar-for-dollar for unemployment payments it makes to laid-off city employees, so Heath says any funds paid out as the result of fraud directly hurts Detroit's ability to serve its residents.

Copyright 2014 by myFOXDetroit.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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