Hand in the Cookie Jar

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The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) exists to promote economic growth within the state by linking businesses with a knowledgeable and skilled workforce. They also have the responsibility to make sure that people, who are collecting unemployment benefits while searching for a job, are deserving of the government-issued funds. An article posted on ClintonCountyDailyNews.com tells about a woman who somehow thought she was entitled to unemployment benefits, even though she already had a full-time job.

The story states that the woman purposely filed for unemployment benefits through the Indiana DWD while receiving a paycheck. As you know, unemployment benefits are designed for people who are laid off by their employer. (The financial assistance is not supposed to provide a second income.)

The 29-year-old woman’s scam was revealed when a DWD employee used agency records and employer information to verify that she was working while submitting fraudulent claims. (She obviously got caught with her hand in the cookie jar.) The woman pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and was sentenced to eight years on probation. She was also ordered to repay $20,645 to the DWD.

This agency’s due diligence ultimately led to the capture of this woman who was overindulging in funds that she did not deserve. (Kudos to Indiana DWD!)It’s important to remember that everyone can help to prevent unemployment insurance fraud. All 50 states offer a mechanism, whether web- or phone-based to anonymously report any fraud, waste and abuse. (It’s ultimately up to all of us to protect those benefits for which taxpayers pay into and deserve when out of a job.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Howard County Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud,” written by Ken Hartman and posted on ClintonCountyDailyNews.com on March 23, 2015.

Kokomo resident Amanda S. Davis, 29, pled guilty February 18 in Howard County Circuit Court to welfare fraud, a Class C Felony. Davis purposefully defrauded the system by collecting unemployment insurance benefits while working full-time.

The investigation began when an Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) employee confirmed Davis was working and receiving wages while claiming unemployment insurance benefits. Using agency records and information from her employer, DWD investigated and was able to verify Davis worked while claiming unemployment insurance benefits.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.