A months-long operation has resulted in charges for 20 individuals who've allegedly been defrauding New Jersey's pot of unemployment benefits.

According to state officials, the charged defendants collected more than $1.1 million in unemployment insurance funds to which they were not entitled.

The Attorney General's Office said the individuals stole anywhere from $13,000 to nearly $100,000. In some instances, the office said, identify theft was committed and benefits were sent out in someone else's name.

"Unemployment insurance fraud directly affects taxpayers in New Jersey, as well as those who rely on this program during times of need," said Attorney General Matthew Platkin. "We are dedicated to protecting these programs from fraud, ensuring that they remain available to those who truly need it."

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New Jersey 101.5FM has reached out to the Attorney General's Office for the names of the defendants. According to the office, the defendants come from 10 New Jersey counties.

Among 17 defendants who face third-degree theft by deception charges, two are also charged with identity theft and/or tampering with public records. Three defendants face second-degree theft by deception charges.

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