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Fraud Prevention Records Not Subject to Disclosure

In the case of The Markup v. Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Servs., 2023-Ohio-623, a special master held that most records relating to how the agency’s unemployment insurance fraud prediction system worked were infrastructure records under R.C. 149.433 and were exempt from disclosure under R.C. 149.43.

In this case, the requester argued that the system was not critical because the fraud prediction system only needed to operate at a moderate level baseline and that the agency had lost hundreds of millions of dollars to fraud despite using the system. In response, the agency argued that the system was an important component to prevent, detect, and mitigate fraud, and that substantially more money would be lost to fraud without the system. The special master agreed with the agency.

In support of its decision in favor of the agency, the special master explained that “past and continuing loss of funds does not make the program’s design and purpose any less ‘critical.’” 2023-Ohio-623 at ¶ 13. The special master further explained that “[t]he combination of factors, flags, weights, and thresholds developed for [the agency] is unique to the agency’s particular implementation of the fraud-detecting Dashboard.” Id. at ¶ 18.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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