All the World’s a Stage

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William Shakespeare’s dramatic monologue that begins with ”All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” presents the stages of man from birth until death. A fraudster, who used a dramatic plan to create fake event production companies, discovered he was in the midst of the fifth stage of life—justice—after his illegal escapades, and he is now faced with going to prison for bilking unemployment benefits from two different state agencies.

The fraudster at the center of this case stole more than $1.4 million from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry by filing false documentation that stated he owned two event production companies that actually did not exist. (For two years, he claimed that he employed 76 people at one company and 31 at the other.)

Along with co-conspirators located in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the mastermind set up a total of eight companies that never paid any unemployment insurance to either of the state labor departments. In order to collect unemployment benefits, all of the co-conspirators pretended to be employees who were laid off. (In total, the criminals netted $1,468,463 in unemployment benefits in the form of prepaid debit cards that could be used at ATMs or retail stores.)

He also paid others for the use of personal information so he could apply for unemployment benefits that were supposed to be designated for people who were actually laid off. (Not for people who acted like they were out of a job.)

The 43-year-old leader pleaded guilty to fraud charges. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison plus other penalties for identity theft.

Congratulations to the Maryland Identity Theft Working Group, which gets credit for closing the curtains on this badly directed fraudulent production. As Shakespeare’s drama suggests, each stage requires a man to play a new role; this man’s next gig will mostly likely be the role of a prisoner. (Although it’s not an opportunity to perform on Broadway, there may be many opportunities to be dramatic.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, ”Silver Spring Man Pleads Guilty in 1.4 Million Unemployment Fraud Scheme,” published by Bethesda Magazine on May 13, 2016.

A Silver Spring man who prosecutors say bilked $1.4 million in unemployment benefits from state agencies in Pennsylvania and Maryland pleaded guilty to fraud charges Friday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Federal prosecutors said Diameter Akala, 43, filed false documents with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation as well as with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry in the names of companies he created—such as Event Solutions Silver Spring and Latin Productions—that falsely stated the fake companies employed and paid wages to employees.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.