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Michigan reverses 70% of unemployment fraud cases, to refund more than $20 million

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The state of Michigan says it has reversed 70% of unemployment benefit fraud cases and is refunding $20.8 million after people were wrongly accused of collecting excessive benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Agency announced the results of a review Friday. It reviewed more than 62,000 cases for people who were assessed a fraud penalty and did not seek an appeal. About 44,000 cases were reversed.

Michigan has been under fire for a computer system that wrongly churned out cases of fraud. Last month, it dropped criminal charges against 186 people.

Over a two year period, Gov. Rick Snyder's administration mostly relied on the computer system to flag thousands of people. They were hit with penalties, wage garnishments and lost tax refunds - before the state admitted it was wrong.

Last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit claiming the state wrongfully accused thousands of people of unemployment fraud because the plaintiffs didn't file the lawsuit soon enough.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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