Daily Archives: December 21, 2016

Michigan taps unemployment insurance fund to balance books


LANSING — A bill  headed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk transfers  $10 million in “surplus” unemployment insurance funds to help balance the state budget at the same time thousands of Michigan residents are claiming millions of dollars in benefits and penalties were unlawfully taken from them after the state wrongly accused them of unemployment insurance fraud.

During their lame duck session, lawmakers gave final passage Tuesday to Senate Bill 1008, shifting $10 million to the state’s general fund from the unemployment insurance contingent fund.

Though fraud determinations have dropped sharply since late 2015, statistics released by the state Wednesday demonstrate the scope of the problem the state had with false fraud determinations over a two-year period.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, partly at the request of the federal government and partly on its own, reviewed 22,427 cases in which a computer determined a claimant had committed civil fraud between October 2013 and October 2015 and found that 20,965 of those cases did not involve fraud, Unemployment Insurance Agency spokesman Dave Murray said Wednesday. That’s an error rate of more than 93%.

Read on.

Trump’s US Treasury Pick Moves in Secretive Hedge Fund Circles

As a hedge fund manager, Goldman Sachs trader and bank chief executive, Steven T. Mnuchin has long been a member of the financial elite.

Yet even on Wall Street he was not widely known before Donald J. Trumpchose him to be his campaign fund-raiser last spring.

Now, Mr. Mnuchin is on a path to become the first hedge fund manager to head the Treasury. As befitting that closed-door world of finance, Mr. Mnuchin’s record shows a willingness to take on risks and a penchant for secrecy that members of both parties expect will be a focus of his Senate confirmation hearing.

A case in point is a Delaware company that he owns, Steven T. Mnuchin Inc., whose existence has not been reported outside of official records.

Read on.


A MONTANA LAWMAKER tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to be secretary of the interior committed travel fraud when he was a member of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6, according to three former unit leaders and a military consultant.

In announcing the nomination of Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke, a retired Navy SEAL commander, Trump praised his military background. “As a former Navy SEAL, he has incredible leadership skills and an attitude of doing whatever it takes to win,” Trump said last week.

But when Zinke was a mid-career officer at SEAL Team 6, he was caught traveling multiple times to Montana in 1998 and 1999 to renovate his home. Zinke claimed that the travel was for official duties, according to the sources.

Read on.