DEO Press Releases

DEO Wins National Award for Fraud Prevention

Oct 08, 2015

TALLAHASSEE – Today, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies presented the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity with the national State Excellence Award for Leadership (SEAL) for its innovative fraud prevention program. 

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Executive Director Jesse Panuccio said, “We want Florida to be the best state in the nation for cutting-edge solutions to fight public benefits fraud, and we are proud to accept this award from our counterparts in other states. Identity theft and fraud harm those whose identities are stolen, rob the social safety net of limited resources, impose unwarranted costs on taxpayers, and undermine public confidence in government. We must continue to fight the criminals who are trying to defraud the unemployment system.”

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has made preventing, detecting, and combating public benefits fraud a top priority. In 2014, DEO developed and implemented a digital system that analyzes unemployment claims data and detects patterns of fraud in real time.  In the past two years, the program has detected about 130,000 fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits, saving taxpayers a total of $529 million.

The SEAL Award is given to one state each year for a workforce-related program addressing a specific issue or challenge. The National Association of State Workforce Agencies is an organization of state administrators of unemployment insurance laws, employment services, training programs, employment statistics, and labor market information. The award was presented during the annual conference today in Indianapolis.

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