Office of Investigations – Labor Racketeering and Fraud
The OIG’s Office of Investigations conducts criminal, civil, and administrative investigations relating to fraudulent activity, including in the following areas:
- Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program: The OIG’s UI investigations focus on fictitious employer schemes that involve the creation of companies that exist only on paper with no actual employees, business operations, or normal business expenses, and on well-organized street gangs who steal identities and fraudulently apply for UI benefits.
- Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) Programs (PERM, H-2A, H-1B, H-2B, etc.): The OIG’s FLC investigations focus on the submission of falsified labor-related visa applications, which may deny U.S. citizens and law-abiding immigrants opportunities for employment or may threaten the security of the United States and its citizens.
- Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWCP) Medical Provider Fraud: Our investigations focus on healthcare providers (doctors, clinics, pharmacists, physical therapists, etc.) who fraudulently bill DOL, fraud associated with medical treatments, and unauthorized payments or kickbacks made to employers, providers, or claimants.
- Contract and Grant Fraud: The OIG investigates schemes in which federal grants are being used for unjust enrichment, personal use, or other fraudulent purposes by DOL grantees or contractors.
- Employee Integrity: The OIG is responsible for investigating possible misconduct or criminal activities involving DOL employees or individuals providing services to the Department.
- Labor Racketeering: The OIG’s labor racketeering investigations focus on complex financial schemes used to defraud union and benefit fund assets, resulting in millions of dollars in losses to labor unions and plan participants. The schemes include embezzlement by sophisticated methods, such as fraudulent loans or excessive fees paid to corrupt union and benefit plan service providers. We work closely with DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) on labor racketeering matters of mutual concern involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA).
- Labor Trafficking: OIG investigations in this area concentrate on fraud against the numerous work-based visa programs, including the various temporary “H visa” programs, including the H-1B, H-2A and H-2B programs, as well as the permanent labor certification program (“green card” track). Our investigations focus primarily on employers, immigration attorneys, and/or labor brokers who prepare and submit fraudulent visa applications to DOL under any of these programs. In addition to its statutory authority to investigate visa fraud in these areas, OIG agents have additional authority pursuant to a special deputation agreement between the OIG and the U.S. Department of Justice, in conjunction with the multi-agency Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams (ACTeams) Initiative, to investigate labor trafficking violations, and to assist with other crimes investigated through the ACTeams Initiative.
For more information on the OIG's investigative successes in all of these areas, please view the Semiannual Reports to the Congress and OIG Investigations Newsletter. Suspected fraud or violations relating to any DOL program should be promptly referred to the OIG via the OIG Hotline online Complaint Form or 1-800-347-3756.