While there’s nothing worse than a fraudster (okay, maybe famine. Or the Bubonic Plague. Whatever, you get the picture). But, a fraudster who should know better is just plain infuriating. According to today’s Fraud of the Day from the Central Valley Business Times, a California woman pleaded guilty to taking unemployment benefits for over two years. And here’s the kicker – she was working full-time for a government agency. You better believe she knew better.
Before becoming a full-time employee, the fraudster was a seasonal employee and, during her periods of off-season unemployment, filed for and received benefits (so far, so good). But, the woman conveniently forgot to inform the California Employment Development Department (EDD) when she began her full-time employment. (And that’s where the trouble comes in.) By simply underreporting the hours she worked on the forms she sent to the EDD, she won herself a nice little unemployment benefit.
Here’s the good news: California’s not too keen on fraudsters. The defendant faces a possible maximum penalty of 20 years of prison time and a $250,000 fine. Her sentencing is scheduled for September. (Seems like it would’ve been a lot easier to just report her employment.)