‘Hundreds of millions of dollars’ lost in Washington to unemployment fraud amid coronavirus joblessness surge

Empty stores are a familiar sight in downtown Seattle as the state’s stay-home order remains in effect. Adding to the strain: A criminal ring likely used personal information from previous consumer-data breaches to slam Washington’s unemployment system with phony claims. (Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press)

Washington state officials have acknowledged the loss of “hundreds of millions of dollars” to an international fraud scheme that hammered the state’s unemployment insurance system and could mean even longer delays for thousands of jobless workers still waiting for legitimate benefits. MORE