Ready, Willing and Able to Defraud

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20067797 - w2 tax form and social security cards

Unemployment benefits are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to people who are eligible to work, but have lost their job through no fault of their own. Beneficiaries of this program are usually American citizens, but non-permanent residents who have lost their jobs can also collect unemployment benefits if they are authorized to work in the United States. A story posted on TheDay.com reports that a woman, who last resided in New London, was recently charged with allegedly collecting more than $39,000 in unemployment benefits for which she did not qualify.

The article states that the Unemployment Compensation Fraud Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney opened an investigation on the 33 year-old woman after receiving a complaint from the Connecticut Department of Labor. The arrest warrant affidavit states that the woman claimed she was a U.S. citizen in order to collect unemployment compensation. But the state asserts she was not legally authorized to work in the United States.

In order for U.S. citizens to file an unemployment claim, a Social Security number must be provided. For non-residents working in the country, an alien resident number or visa or passport information is required to file for the benefits.

The case is being prosecuted by the Unemployment Compensation Fraud Unit – a partnership between the Division of Criminal Justice and the Department of Labor. The prosecution is being financed by the U.S. Department of Labor. (It would be a lot cheaper to have a better vetting process for unemployment benefit applicants to prevent fraud before it occurs.)

It is important to note that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. She deserves her day in court.

Even so, the case provides a good reminder for us: unemployment benefits are for those people who are ready, willing and able to work, not fraudsters who are eager to scam the government and take what is not theirs.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article titled, ”New London Woman Charged with Unemployment Fraud,” written by Karen Florin and published in TheDay.com on November 1, 2013.

NEW LONDON – State officials charged a New London woman today with illegally collecting more than $39,000 in unemployment compensation.

Yveline Louissaint, 33, whose last known address is 309 Crystal Ave., was charged with first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community and unemployment compensation fraud.

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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.