No Rhyme or Reason

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To qualify for and collect unemployment benefits under the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, an individual must meet certain eligibility requirements. (Benefits aren’t just handed out without a rhyme or reason.) A Detroit man tried to circumvent those requirements and committed unemployment fraud in the process. He impersonated others to obtain more than $330,000 in undeserved unemployment benefits. (While no rhyming was involved, he did have a reason – greed.)

The bottom line is that to be eligible in the State of Michigan to collect unemployment benefits, an individual must be “unemployed and able, available for, and actively seeking suitable full-time work.” Today’s fraudster made a business out of stealing unemployment benefits from others. (Technically, you could say he was self-employed.)

The man from Michigan stole personally identifiable information from third parties and caused unemployment benefits to be issued in their names, even though they were not entitled to receive those benefits. (They were probably already gainfully employed.)

Then, the fraudster actually impersonated his victims so he could withdraw the illegally-obtained unemployment insurance benefits. (I’m envisioning hats, wigs, and fake mustaches, but who actually comes face-to-face with a bank teller anymore?) The multi-year fraud scheme caused debit cards containing more than $330,000 in unemployment benefits to be issued.

There’s more to the fraudster than unemployment fraud. According to today’s article, the Detroit man has prior convictions for illegal weapons activity, drug activity, aggravated domestic violence and illegal possession of a loaded fire arm. (So, this wasn’t his first rodeo so to speak.)

The 54-year-old fraudster pleaded guilty to unemployment fraud, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. He agreed to pay back $330,561 in restitution for his crimes and is scheduled for the Fall. Greed was definitely the reason for this fraud scam and justice was the reason why the State of Michigan sought retribution. So, that leaves us with this rhyme to close out today’s blog:

A fraudulent man from Detroit, thought that he could exploit, but, after stealing from others, including his state, he has now officially become jail bait.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Detroit Man Pleads Guilty To Unemployment Insurance Fraud, Illegal Gun Possession,” posted on wisc24.com on June 21, 2018.

A Detroit man pleaded guilty today to conspiring to engage in mail fraud and being a felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider announced.

Schneider was joined in the announcement by James Vanderberg, Special Agent-in-Charge, Chicago Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

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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.