Shouldn’t You Know Better?

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While there’s nothing worse than a fraudster (okay, maybe famine. Or the Bubonic Plague. Whatever, you get the picture). But, a fraudster who should know better is just plain infuriating. According to today’s Fraud of the Day from the Central Valley Business Times, a California woman pleaded guilty to taking unemployment benefits for over two years. And here’s the kicker – she was working full-time for a government agency. You better believe she knew better.

Before becoming a full-time employee, the fraudster was a seasonal employee and, during her periods of off-season unemployment, filed for and received benefits (so far, so good). But, the woman conveniently forgot to inform the California Employment Development Department (EDD) when she began her full-time employment. (And that’s where the trouble comes in.) By simply underreporting the hours she worked on the forms she sent to the EDD, she won herself a nice little unemployment benefit.

Here’s the good news: California’s not too keen on fraudsters. The defendant faces a possible maximum penalty of 20 years of prison time and a $250,000 fine. Her sentencing is scheduled for September. (Seems like it would’ve been a lot easier to just report her employment.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article ”Former IRS Worker Admits Defrauding EDD,” published by the Central Valley Business Times on June 12, 2012.

Cheryl Lynn Frazier, 60, of Fresno, has pleaded guilty today to mail fraud for taking unemployment benefits for more than two years despite having a fulltime job – working for the IRS, says U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. The scheme ran from October 2008 through April 2011, according to her plea agreement.

Prior to becoming a full-time employee, Ms. Frazier had been a seasonal employee with the IRS. During her periods of off-season unemployment, she had filed for and received unemployment benefits from the California Employment Development Department.

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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.