State unemployment agencies aren't especially responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars even in the best of times. Yet when the COVID-19 crisis and government lockdowns put tens of millions of Americans out of work, Congress responded by pouring more taxpayer money into state-level unemployment systems.
The federal legislation enormously increased weekly payouts and expanded unemployment benefits to many new classes of workers, with little in the way of verification or qualification requirements. This welfare expansion was just reauthorized in the second major COVID-19 spending package, which Congress passed in mid-December. Sadly, lawmakers didn't bother to address the runaway fraud that had plagued the first round of COVID relief efforts.