Single father says no one can explain 16 missing unemployment checks

DEO and News 6 investigation leads to $8,400 in re-issued checks

Vaughn Tucker has a high stakes unemployment mystery on his hands.

According to the unemployed single father, 16 federal unemployment checks were sent to his Windemere apartment but were never delivered to his mailbox.

“I have to be able to eat, I have to be able to feed my son,” the former Disney resort worker said. “I haven’t received any federal payments and that’s including my stimulus check as well.”

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News 6 reviewed his Department of Economic Opportunity Connect account and confirmed 16 “paper checks” totaling $8,400 were issued starting on May 18 and ending Sept. 14.

Tucker said he has made dozens of calls to the DEO to find out why the checks were never delivered but no one has been able to sort out the mystery.

“I was calling the DEO almost every day,” he said. “They cannot see if the checks have been cashed they can only confirm they were processed and sent out.”

Tucker said he checked with the Windemere Post Office and no checks had been returned or held.

News 6 sent the documents to the Department of Economic Opportunity this week.

The agency is tracking the checks to determine if they were lost, stolen, or cashed by someone else.

DEO Press Secretary Paige Landrum said there was an issue with the address in the system.

Landrum said now that the issue has been resolved every check “will be reissued within the next few days.”

When Tucker learned the issue had been resolved he said he was very grateful.

“Thank you, I really needed it,” he said, adding he has joint custody of his 1 year old son Jackson and the missing funds would help pay the unpaid rent

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About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.