Ohio To Seize Tax Refunds From Fraud Debtors

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The state says it plans to start seizing federal tax refunds sent to Ohioans who have committed unemployment compensation fraud.

Such fraud typically occurs when people return to work but continue to claim that they are unemployed.

The state says Ohio has about $40 million in outstanding fraud debt for state unemployment benefits, along with an additional $30 million in outstanding fraud debt for federal unemployment benefits paid to Ohioans.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says it already steps in to collect state income tax refunds and lottery winnings from those with outstanding fraud debts. It also can take legal action.

State officials say they expect to recover tens of millions of dollars more through the new program, which is in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service.