Incompetence By Whitmer Admin Led to $12 Billion in Fraudulent, Wasteful and Hush Money Unemployment Payments

LANSING, Mich. – A shocking report from Deloitte & Touche LLP indicates that Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Unemployment Insurance Agency issued up to $8.51 billion in fraudulent payments. An earlier Auditor General report uncovered at least $3.9 billion in improper spending by the unemployment agency, for a total of roughly $12.41 billion in wasted funds distributed by Whitmer’s administration. The state’s general fund budget for the 2022 fiscal year is only $11.8 billion.

“Governor Whitmer’s team handed out over $12 billion in fraudulent and incorrect unemployment payments. The Whitmer administration wasted these billions while small businesses were forced to shut down, workers lost their jobs, and were unable to get the unemployment they needed and qualified for,” said Tori Sachs, executive director of the Michigan Freedom Fund. “Whitmer was too distracted by raising her national political profile and auditioning for Vice President to worry about suffering caused by her ridiculous orders and ensuring basic competence in her own government.

“Then to cover up her administration’s failures, Whitmer bought the former director’s silence with a taxpayer-funded hush money parachute. It is incomprehensible how a state agency, on Whitmer’s watch, could recklessly waste more money than the state government spends on its entire general fund budget. In any other job, the leader, in this case Whitmer, would be fired and investigated.”

Whitmer’s former Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Steve Gray stated that “fraud prevention was not a high priority.” Gray later received an $85,000 taxpayer funded hush money payout from Whitmer to depart his position with the state. The Michigan Freedom Fund has previously called on him to return the hush money payment to the state.

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