New York let fraudsters make off with at least $11 billion in taxpayer cash as jobless claims soared during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic — aided by loosened eligibility rules and an already crumbling state unemployment system, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli charged Tuesday.
The $11 billion was lost in 2020, under then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to outright fraud and overpayments, according to DiNapoli’s audit of the mess. But he warned that despite the stunning theft in the the first year of the pandemic and lockdowns, billions more in fraud is likely to be uncovered.