The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations’ (OLRFI) Division of Program Fraud is responsible for conducting criminal, civil, and administrative investigations relating to violations of Federal laws, rules or regulations as they pertain to DOL programs, grants, contracts, and operations, as well as allegations of criminal activity and serious misconduct on the part of DOL employees.
OLRFI investigates fraudulent activity involving:
Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP): These investigations focus on fraud committed against four major disability programs - the Federal Employees' Compensation Program; the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program; the Coal Mine Workers Compensation Program (Black Lung); and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Program. OLRFI investigates those who intentionally fail to disclose reportable employment or income, falsify or report fraudulent medical information, or claim to be injured or disabled when in fact they are not. As necessary, these investigations also target healthcare providers (doctors, clinics, pharmacists, physical therapists, etc.) who fraudulently bill DOL for services as well as fraud associated with medical promotions or treatments and unauthorized payments or kickbacks made to employers, providers or claimants.
Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) Programs (PERM, H-2A, H-1B, H-2B, etc.): FLC investigations concentrate on fraud that facilitates the submission of falsified labor related VISA applications, denies U.S. citizens opportunities for employment, deprives honest immigrants opportunities for advancement, or threatens the security of the U.S. and its citizens. OLRFI efforts have identified unscrupulous attorneys, labor brokers, employers, and their associates, some with suspected non-traditional organized crime connections, as prominent threats to the integrity of the FLC process.
Unemployment Insurance (UI): OLRFI investigates schemes using stolen identities to file for and obtain unauthorized UI benefits, bribes or illegal payments made to UI employees to influence their decisions regarding claims, and the creation of fictitious employers through which unauthorized UI benefits are filed for and received. OLRFI investigations have disclosed abuse of the UI Program by non-traditional organized crime groups.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and Job Corps (JC): Through WIA and JC, DOL provides major funding and training opportunities for the American worker. To ensure that such opportunities and resources are not abused, OLRFI investigates fraudulent activity within WIA and JC including embezzlement of funds from relevant state-run programs, conflicts-of-interest involving program administrators, and general contractor fraud (embezzlement and misappropriation of funds).
This brief account of OLRFI’s investigative role relating to some of DOL’s most visible programs does not describe all programs or scenarios concerning potential fraud requiring OLRFI attention. Suspected fraud or violations relating to any DOL program should be promptly referred to the OIG via the OIG Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-347-3756.