Do Not Pass Go…Go Directly to Jail

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We’ve all played the board game where we roll the dice to see how many spaces our game piece can advance and, inevitably, someone lands on the square that tells them to go directly to jail. Committing fraud is kind of like that: you roll the dice and see if you are going to get caught. And, sometimes, you go directly to jail. That’s what happened in today’s Fraud of the Day from the San Marino Tribune.

The article reports two defendants pled guilty and were sentenced to prison for committing unemployment fraud. This wasn’t just any run-of-the-mill unemployment scam. No, these fraudsters stole ”more than $20,000 in unemployment benefits for incarcerated gang members – including one awaiting trial for murder.” (Maybe one of their customers will be a future cellie. Small world, huh?)

How long will they be sitting out their turn in the slammer? The judge sentenced them each to five years in state prison. They also must pay full restitution of $22,087, plus interest. (I love that the judge added the interest! He wasn’t fooling around.)

What can we learn from this? Well, in the game of fraud, everyone is looking to land on boardwalk, but sometimes you just wind up parked in place in prison – and that’s when the taxpayer wins.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Two Sentenced to State Prison for Welfare Fraud,” published in the San Marino Tribune on March 25, 2013.

A man and woman who obtained more than $20,000 in unemployment benefits for incarcerated gang members – including one awaiting trial for murder – were sentenced to state prison on Tuesday.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Enomoto said Norwalk Superior Court Judge Robert Higa sentenced each to five years in prison and ordered the defendants to pay full restitution of $22,087 plus interest to the state agency from which the funds were pilfered, the California Employment Development Dept.

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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.