Audit: Whitmer’s Unemployment Agency Paid Nearly $4 Billion In Fraudulent Payments

Former Whitmer Appointee Who Received a $85,872 Taxpayer Funded Hush Money Payment Blistered By Auditor General

LANSING, Mich. – A scathing report by the Auditor General uncovered $3.9 billion in improper spending by the state’s unemployment agency, while blistering the Whitmer administration and former Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) Director Steve Gray. 

“Former Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Steve Gray discussed the risks of quickly developing eligibility criteria for federal jobless aid with the office of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as early as April 2020, months before the state was forced to claw back those eligibility requirements and ask thousands to recertify, a state audit found.”

“The audit estimated at least $3.9 billion in overpayments was paid to 347,437 claimants who were later deemed ineligible — money that likely will not be recouped “because the improper payments were the UIA’s fault.” Auditors said the agency still is tallying the overpayment total and it likely exceeds the $3.9 billion estimate.” 

Gray received a taxpayer funded hush money payment of nearly $86,000 when he departed his position in November of 2020. The Michigan Freedom fund has previouslycalled on Gray to return the taxpayer funded hush money.

“Gretchen Whitmer’s failure of leadership at the state’s unemployment agency has been catastrophic and expensive. Taxpayers have wondered for months why Whitmer paid off Steve Gray to sign a non-disclosure agreement when he left – and now we know, after the auditor general uncovered $3.9 billion in fraudulent and improper payments made by the agency,” said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. 

“While many Michigan families in need waited months for benefits, Whitmer’s administration erroneously issued payments to more than 347,000 people and routinely acted contrary to federal law. This isn’t merely a question of bureaucratic incompetence – today’s findings uncovered misconduct on a genuinely colossal scale,” Sachs continued. “Steve Gray should immediately return Whitmer’s taxpayer-funded hush money and come clean about the fraud that took place. Michiganders deserve to know what Whitmer knew about the $4 billion in fraudulent payments and when she knew it.”

The Michigan Freedom Fund works to advance conservative ideas, hold our government accountable to taxpayers, and protect Freedom, opportunity, and workers’ Constitutional rights. For more information, please visit