Working Hard or Hardly Working?

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There are three ways fraudsters usually commit unemployment fraud on purpose. One way is to fill out the application with false information. Another way is to be lazy and don’t look for a job. Lastly, just ignore the requirement to report income if actually working. (Some fraudsters mistakenly think that the government will never notice their intentional error.)

A Pennsylvania man thought he’d try method number three to scam his state’s Department of Labor and Industry. He did not report the wages he received from a full time job, which is a violation of the state’s Office of Unemployment Compensation rules. (If you have a full time job, you obviously can’t collect unemployment benefits.)

The fraudster got away with the ruse for nearly four years before being caught. In all, he collected $102,000 in unemployment compensation benefits he was not entitled to.

The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits and will spend a year-and-a-half in prison for his illegal scam. He is also required to pay $89,500 in restitution to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Why is it that fraudsters spend so much time and energy working hard to scam a government benefits system? They do so with the promise that easy money often brings – the ability to enjoy life while hardly working. In this case, this man’s plan backfired and his hard work has resulted in hard time.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Lancaster man sentenced to 18 months for unemployment benefits fraud,” posted on Fox43.com on June 15, 2016.

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Angel Luis Carrasco-Rivera, 54 of Lancaster was sentenced to 18 months in prison today by Chief United States District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner in Harrisburg for fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits.

According to the U.S. Attorney Carrasco-Rivera, was charged in a Criminal Information with mail fraud in January 2016. The charge stemmed from Carrasco-Rivera filing claims for unemployment compensation benefits from 2008 through late 2012 with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry in Harrisburg.

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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.