President Joe Biden is now facing some very serious questions concerning his pick of a Democratic donor to be in charge of billions of dollars in unemployment benefits despite the fact she was once part of a state agency that lost hundreds of millions of dollars in COVID relief funds to Nigerian scam artists.
Suzi LeVine formerly worked for the state of Washington’s Employment Security Department just a month ago, which saw her depart amid a trail of audits and questions about how her agency could have lost $600 million worth of unemployment funds to cybercriminals.
“Washington residents who have had seen massive error after massive error from LeVine’s Employment Security Department are dumbfounded that she would be getting a promotion,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington. “This isn’t a ceremonial title or a cushy spot for donors, it’s a crisis management role and one she’s already failed miserably.”
LeVine and her husband are prolific Biden donors and served until January as deputy finance chairs for the Democratic National Committee, according to her LinkedIn profile.advertisement — content continues below
The scammers caused a major scandal in Washington state, where the huge levels of fraud prompted delays in legitimate claimants of unemployment benefit at a time when hundreds of thousands of people were struggling with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first of the five audits was completed in December of 2020 and pointed the finger at LeVine’s department for not fixing a software vulnerability that contributed to the fraud.
“ESD did not have effective internal controls in place to ensure unemployment benefit payments were made only to eligible claimants,” the audit concluded.
The scammers that were part of this fiasco included a Nigerian ring that goes by the name of “Scattered Canary,” according to Agari, a cybersecurity firm which was the first to identify it. They then used stolen personal information like home addresses and even social security numbers to file claims.
Is this really the kind of person we want to promote? If LeVine suffers from this level of incompetence it seems like putting her in charge of more money after losing this obscene amount in her previous position would be a really dumb move.
Then again, what this is really about is political favors. LeVine donated to Biden’s campaign to help him get elected. Now it’s his turn to scratch her back. Corruption at its finest.