Maryland recently thwarted an unemployment fraud scheme worth more than $501 million, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday.
The state labor department identified 47,500 fraudulent claims made using stolen identities and personal information acquired in data breaches.
“A criminal enterprise sought to take advantage of a global pandemic,” Hogan said at a news conference.
State computer systems helped detect an unusual increase in out-of-state claims.
The state says it has paid benefits to 489,000 Marylanders, administering $4.3 billion and processing more than 96% of claims.
People seeking benefits have reported delays as the state struggles to handle more claims in the past three months than they received in the past three years.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.