Lyin’ Hard for the Money

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23934745 - close-up of a businesswoman counting bank note at desk

The Associated Press recently caught wind of a man and a woman in South Carolina who were discovered collecting unemployment benefits, despite their gainful employment.

According to the report and a news release by the state’s Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), the two collected cash allocated for South Carolina’s jobless residents, after they submitted false information to the agency stating that they were unemployed and 100% lacking in income. The woman’s scam began in October 2008, right as the housing bubble burst. While that truly left millions of Americans without work, this 54-year-old fraudster was not among them. For two years, she claimed jobless benefits while she was employed, more than $10,000 meant for the jobless. The 44-year-old man received unemployment payments between July and August of 2012. (Now those are bubbles worth bursting.)

The DEW caught on to these anti-Robin Hoods and soon passed their suspicions to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. A subsequent investigation resulted in each defendant pleading guilty to one count of making a false statement or misrepresentation with the intent to defraud the DEW. For that charge—a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison—both received the maximum punishment. While the woman’s prison sentence ultimately was suspended, she remained on the hook for nearly $11,000 in fines and stolen funds. (So she’ll either need to do some overtime, or go back to serving time.)

Stealing from the poor takes a lot of nerve, especially during an economic disaster that left millions out of work and vulnerable to home foreclosure. Fortunately, South Carolina officials appear to be doing what they can to expose those who try to cheat the system.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an Associated Press report titled ”2 plead guilty to unemployment fraud in South Carolina,” published in the Aiken Standard on January 5, 2016.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two people have pleaded guilty to defrauding the state of South Carolina of unemployment insurance benefits.

The Department of Employment and Workforce says in a news release Tuesday that 44-year-old Raymond Whiteside of Spartanburg and 54-year-old Janis Manning of Columbia pleaded guilty to making false statements with the intent of defrauding the jobless benefits agency.

The agency says Whiteside was employed while receiving jobless benefits in 2012. The department says Manning also had a job while she got benefits between 2008 and 2010. Authorities say both people lied about their employment.

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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.