Chasing Fraud

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It’s not uncommon for postal service to be suspended when dogs chase or bite postal workers along their delivery routes. Similarly, the government chased down and suspended a Florida mail carrier from delivering mail along his West Palm Beach route after discovering he was involved in an unemployment fraud scheme. (As a result, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity lost around $90,000.)

The postal worker carried out the fraudulent scheme over six months by handing over about 60 addresses of people along his mail route to co-conspirators. (He provided stolen identity information including Social Security numbers to his cronies who used the personally identifiable information (PII) to file bogus unemployment claims with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.)

Once the unemployment claims were approved, the state mailed out Visa debit cards to the homes of the addresses the postal carrier had stolen. Co-conspirators obtained the debit cards and made ATM withdrawals totaling $90,000. (Fraudsters definitely enjoy spending other people’s money.)

After a four-day federal jury trial, the former postal carrier was convicted of seven charges including access device fraud, conspiring to commit access device fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft. The postal worker is facing a maximum sentence of 25 years behind bars, while a co-defendant is awaiting trial.

Isn’t it interesting how fraudsters will go to great lengths to work hard at defrauding government programs when they could work a legitimate job and avoid prison time? (Why would you want to chance your future by committing fraud?) This postal worker may have feared being chased by a dog along his route, but it was the government’s dogged determination that stopped this criminal from carrying away any more money intended for unemployed workers who deserved assistance.

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “He used employment by the U.S. Postal Service for an unemployment scam,” published by The Miami Herald on March 12, 2017.

A West Palm Beach mail carrier was convicted in federal court of seven charges connected to a $90,000 unemployment fraud scheme.

Yvenel Clotaire will be sentenced May 19 after being found guilty Friday of access device fraud, conspiring to commit access device fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

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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.