By JOSH THALL
Capital News Service
Lansing — A new unit investigating disability fraud in Michigan projects that it has already saved taxpayers $700,000. The Cooperative Disabilities Investigations Unit (CDI) is a joint organization of the Social Security Administration and the Michigan Department of Human Services formed last August. Michigan is one of 24 states that now has a branch of the organization since it was created nationally 17 years ago. The Michigan branch has found 50 suspicious applications. Of those, 16 have been investigated further, 10 are still open and the six that have been denied that would have cost the taxpayer $700,000 over the next five years if they went unnoticed, said Bob Wheaton, acting manager of communications and public information officer for the Department of Human Services.