Revenge Can Backfire


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Sometimes things can get out of hand when going through a divorce. (Sometimes uncontrolled anger and greed can cause a person to do things they normally would do to get back at a spouse.) An article posted on tells about a woman who used her ex-husband’s identity to file for unemployment benefits. (The story does not say whether the criminal activity was an act of revenge, but the tactic definitely backfired.)

The article states that the investigation by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) began after the woman’s ex-husband inquired as to why his state income tax return check had been withheld. (Unbeknownst to him, his former wife had been using his identity to apply for and collect unemployment benefits. That’s definitely a ”no-no,” but she was also working in a local school system at the same time – a double ”no-no.”) The DWD was able to cross-check wage reports and new hire data from state employers to verify her employment information.

The 46-year-old woman pleaded guilty to unemployment insurance fraud. She was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 60 days of home detention and two years of probation. In addition, she will have to pay $32,538 in restitution to the Indiana DWD.

If the motive was revenge, it definitely was not sweet for this fraudster, but you could technically say it was for the Indiana DWD. Congratulations to this government agency for helping to protect tax dollars and ensuring that unemployment benefits are available for those who are eligible to receive them.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woman Pleads Guilty to Unemployment Insurance Fraud,” posted on on September 9, 2015.

MARTINSVILLE – A Martinsville woman pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unemployment insurance fraud.

46-year-old Suzanne Hazel pleaded guilty in Morgan County Circuit Court after she defrauded the system by collecting unemployment insurance benefits while working for Monroe County Schools.

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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.