Avoidance Never Pays Off

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Fraudsters are pretty good avoiders. They generally shun earning an honest living and admitting guilt when caught. While today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is about a Nebraska man who actually did work, he lied about the fact he was working and then sidestepped admitting guilt to participating in a ruse to steal nearly $8,000 in unemployment benefits he did not deserve.

A 50-year-old man purportedly filed for unemployment benefits for 60 weeks in spite of the fact he was actually working and earning a paycheck for more than half of that time—32 weeks to be exact. (You have to give him credit for actually working, but he neglected to report that one not-so-small detail to the Nebraska Department of Labor.)

After a thorough investigation by the state agency’s Benefits Payment Control Unit, this Cornhusker pleaded no contest to unemployment fraud. (Yet another avoidance tactic. This allowed him to admit the facts in the case were true, but avoid pleading guilty.)He is facing a maximum of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine and repaying $7,840 in restitution.

Apparently the man made some restitution payments before he was arrested. (We’ll see if that helps him to avoid a stiffer sentence when he receives the details of his punishment from the judge. A better strategy for future: avoid committing fraud.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Man pleads no contest in unemployment fraud case,” published by the Omaha World-Herald on June 3, 2016.

YORK, Neb. – A 50-year-old man pleaded no contest this week to felony theft by deception stemming from unemployment fraud.

Timothy Ballard faces a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

According to information submitted to the court by a field representative for the Benefits Payment Control Unit for the Nebraska Department of Labor, Ballard filed weekly claims for unemployment benefits for 60 weeks, between Feb. 7, 2012, and Feb. 7, 2015.

It was discovered, however, that Ballard was employed during those weeks and had been earning money.

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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.