Employing Guilt


Guilt is an emotion that humans experience when they believe they’ve violated a moral standard. Guilt is usually followed by remorse or regret. Let’s say for example, you saw someone drop $20 out of their coat pocket on the street. The morally responsible act would be to grab the $20, catch the owner and hand it back. If you didn’t want to tango with morality, you could pocket the $20 and never say a word, though you’d likely have to deal with guilt. So, how do fraudsters deal with guilt? According to an IndyStar article, one fraudster handled his guilt through a plea, a guilty plea for unemployment insurance fraud.

Every state dictates the eligibility criteria for individuals who qualify for unemployment benefits in its own state. Even so, it’s fair to say that all state laws allow for individuals, who have lost a job through no fault of their own, to collect unemployment benefits to support themselves while they look for another job. Oh…and there is one more common feature among state unemployment benefits laws? the benefit recipient must actually be unemployed. (Seems pretty straightforward to me.) That appears to have been the stumbling block for one Indiana resident, who pleaded guilty to collecting over $30,705 in unemployment benefits over a period of 18 months while employed.

The case is the first in a dual effort by a state and local partnership, following an announcement that state and local law enforcement will work together on fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits claims. (More of these inter/intra-governmental partnerships are needed to beat the fraudsters at their own game.) An investigation found the fraudster received his unemployment benefits checks from July 2008 through June 2010, neglecting to disclose earnings from an employer during that time. As part of his plea deal, the fraudster agreed to repay the stolen benefits in full, in addition to $17,995 in statutory penalties.Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Man Pleads Guilty to Unemployment Insurance Fraud,” written by Clara Ritger and published by the IndyStar on July 11, 2013.

A Marion County man entered a guilty plea to insurance fraud today after collecting $30,705 in unemployment benefits over an 18-month period, authorities said

Marvin Nistlebeck, Jr., received checks from July 2008 through January 2010 while failing to disclose wage earnings from an employer, according to a press release from the Marion County prosecutor’s office.

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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.