Three of a Kind

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Disciplines and interests as diverse as writing, computer science, mathematics and medicinal chemistry have their own meanings for the ”rule of three.” In Alabama, ”the rule of three” turned up when the rule of law was applied to numerous fraudsters. The Daily Home tells the story of three individuals from the same county who were guilty of claiming unemployment benefits to which they were not entitled. (Maybe we should be thankful there’s no ”rule of forty seven.”)

According to the story, the three were among 16 offenders across the state of Alabama who recently pleaded guilty or were convicted for violations of the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law, resulting from their false statements to claim unemployment benefits. Their crimes were separate, but together the thefts from these three alone accounted for more than $25,000 in stolen funds. (Liars can be quite a liability.) Two of them ultimately admitted their guilt, and the third was convicted by a jury.

One woman pleaded guilty to theft of property in the first degree, and was sentenced to serve 30 months in jail. Her sentence was suspended for two years so that she could pay full restitution of $8,398 and $750 in fines and court costs. The man who pleaded guilty to theft of property in the first degree was sentenced to 36 months in prison, but his sentence was likewise suspended for two years so he could pay back the $13,035 in undeserved benefits along with $500 in fines and court costs. The man who took his case to trial was sentenced to serve 22 months in prison, but his sentence also was suspended pending restitution of $4,203 plus $500 in fines and court fees. (Let’s not suspend our disbelief—what are the chances that these unemployed fraudsters were responsible savers?)

Congratulations to the Alabama Department of Labor and to the local district attorneys with whom they cooperated to find and combat these crimes, and for reminding employers that keeping up-to-date records is the best way to prevent this type of fraud.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”3 Talladegans convicted of unemployment fraud,” written by Chris Norwood and published by The Daily Home on December 14, 2015.

Some 16 Alabamians have recently pleaded guilty to or been convicted of violations of the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law by making false statements to claim benefits, according to a press release.

Three of those 16 were from Talladega County.

Joann Meadows, of Talladega, pleaded guilty in November to theft of property in the first degree, the release said. She was sentenced to 30 months in jail, suspended for two years pending full restitution.

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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.