A former state employee and her accomplice have been indicted for alleged Pandemic Unemployment fraud

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A former employee at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and an accomplice have been indicted in a fraud scheme to steal nearly $6 million in unemployment pandemic benefits.

Unemployment Office sign
[Courtesy Bytemarks via Creative Commons.]
In 2020, the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which passed through Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services, allowed thousands of Ohioans to receive unemployment funds who normally wouldn’t have been eligible.

Alana Hamilton was a customer service rep for the program and reviewed the claims.

Investigators working for the state inspector general said Hamilton and Lasheta McClelland, who didn’t work for ODJFS, collaborated to file claims and take money from claimants through fraud.

A Franklin County Grand Jury has indicted the pair on 19 counts, including corruption, theft, tampering with records, money laundering and filing false documents.