Take your seats, students.  Today’s lesson will be in fraud – unemployment fraud to be specific.  Now the concept is actually quite simple:  to commit unemployment fraud, simply receive unemployment benefits while being employed.  Any questions?

While the concept may seem easy to understand, one Washington, DC, teacher missed the mark on this one, according to today’s Fraud of the Day from The Examiner.  (Even teachers can make mistakes from time to time.)  The teacher in this case, who is amongst 130 DC employees accused of unemployment fraud in February, recently pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree fraud.  Hired by the DC school system in 2007 as an educational aide, the teacher applied for and received around $27,200 dollars in unemployment compensation from July 2009 to April 2011, while still employed. (Ok, the concept of fraud was easy – so how did she get this one wrong?)

The judge ordered the teacher to pay the full restitution of $27,200, serve 45 days in jail, as well as five years of probation. (And students think detention is bad…)

So the teacher made a mistake – big deal.  Actually, it is a big deal.  These $27k mistakes add up – and it eliminates government money allocated to help individuals who are actually in need of the assistance. Whatever happened to teachers setting a good example for their students?  Regardless, this may be one lesson the teacher wasn’t expecting to learn – and with 45 days in jail, she will have plenty of time to think about what she did.

  1. This woman was a teacher’s aide, not a teacher. Although they are an important resource in the classroom,to my knowledge,an aide is hired “off the street”, is not required to have the same level of education, or be certified as a teacher.
    If an educator who dedicated their life to this profession, such as my wife, read your column, she would be highly upset this mistake was made.
    I enjoy reading your reports. As an investigator, it’s helpful to be “one step ahead” of fraud.

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