Unfortunately in the world of fraud, much of the time, we seem to find “a lot” of fraud, and “a little” prosecution. Good news! That’s not the case in today’s Fraud of the Day from WSPA News.
As June came to an end, the heat seemed to rise in South Carolina for two men found guilty of unemployment insurance fraud. According to the article, the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) – a South Carolina agency that helps residents by providing unemployment benefits, job opportunities and workforce services – the two men applied for unemployment benefits. Here’s the problem…the men lied on their unemployment applications, and received over $10K each in unemployment compensation, as a result.
One of the men created a fake landscaping company, listing that he was previously employed by them – qualifying him to participate in the unemployment benefits program. He then proceeded to falsify wage documents, allowing him to receive nearly eight months of benefits. (Guess he thought fraud was more lucrative than writing fiction. Maybe he missed his calling?) While he was sentenced to three years in jail, the sentencing was reduced to three years probation and he was ordered to pay $11,780 in restitution.
What about our other defendant? It turns out that he had a job while collecting unemployment benefits from February 2009 to July 2010. (Now that’s a problem.) He too received a sentence of three years in jail, reduced to three years of probation and was ordered to pay $14,133 in restitution.
Here the state moved swiftly to prosecute and sentence the unemployment fraudsters. Each is required to pay restitution and each has quite a bit of time hanging over their heads if they step out of line. One false move and they could be finishing those sentences in prison. Let’s hope they get the message.