New Mexico company proprietor struggles to combat unemployment fraud

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A nearby company owner claimed he alerted the condition when a person fraudulently submitted for unemployment underneath his identify. Even so, he was getting a challenging time having everyone to hear to him. Kevin Lawton owns Futons & Frames on Menaul in the vicinity of Carlisle. “We opened in 1991,” he claimed. “So, we have been here a very long time.”

Lawton got a letter from the New Mexico Department of Workforce Remedies before this thirty day period and figured an employee, he had to allow go in March when the pandemic hit, had filed for unemployment. Then, he appeared closer and observed that the title on the declare was his individual. “I’m not an personnel. I’m so easy to trace,” Lawton defined.

The situation went from amusing to frustrating, Lawton stated. He figured he could apparent it all up with a swift phone connect with. “That’s not what comes about,” he claimed, shaking his head.

When Lawton did get someone on the phone, they asked him for his information to confirm his identity. “And she goes, ‘Oh, which is the full reverse of what we have on file with Kevin Lawton.’ I go, ‘Stop. That’s me!’”

In the meantime, the letters saved coming. “I acquire yet another actually thin letter. So, now I’m certain it’s taken treatment of,” Lawton claimed. “And, once more, it was not.”

A letter he been given very last Friday confirmed that Kevin Lawton, or at minimum the man or woman pretending to be him, is suitable for advantages. “You search at this, just in shock going, it is me. I’m not in determined need to have of income. I’m operating 7 times a 7 days,” he claimed.

Workforce Answers Secretary Bill McCamley claimed that unemployment fraud is quite frequent during the COVID-19 crisis. “I will not lie to you. It’s an situation, and it actually can make me offended that these robbers are out there.”

McCamley stated that because the pandemic started off, New Mexico has recovered additional than $17 million that was specified to criminals. For instance, in between Might and June, the state uncovered additional than 480 people today illegally submitted for unemployment in jail.

“But the strain on our company is to get funds out the doorway to enable persons for the duration of these actually tricky periods. There’s also tension to end this theft. So, we have to variety of harmony these points relocating ahead,” McCamley reported.

KRQE Information 13 requested the condition if anyone was searching into Lawton’s case. Then, about an hour prior to this tale aired, Lawton termed with an update. He mentioned he was notified the account is now frozen and currently being investigated.

Workforce Answers said it has about 6,500 accounts locked down as of Thursday so that they can be vetted even more. Any one who requires to report a fraudulent declare can electronic mail [email protected] or call the fraud line at 505243-7283.