Seeing Clearly


There are people who love to create a haze around their fraudulent acts so that government officials can’t see what is going on. A Rhode Island woman tried to hide behind the state ‘s unemployment benefits voice response system and failed to provide accurate reports on her weekly earnings. Her smoke screen enabled the collection of $8,000 in unemployment insurance benefits she did not deserve.

In the State of Rhode Island, unemployed workers must place a weekly call to the state ‘s Department of Labor and Training through its Teleserve response system. This allows the caller to answer several questions that help the agency to determine if they are qualified to receive unemployment insurance benefits for the week. Some of the questions ask if during the previous week was the caller able and available for full-time work, if they looked for full-time work and if they refused any work.

The Rhode Island woman at the center of today ‘s “Fraud of the Day” neglected to answer those questions truthfully over about 10 months. During that time, she was able and available for work. In fact, she was working at a local JC Penney ‘s optical department. (Maybe she couldn’t see the numbers she was punching on her phone during the weekly call.)

The 52-year-old woman pleaded guilty to unemployment fraud and was sentenced to five years of probation for collecting more than $8,000 in benefits she didn’t deserve. She must pay restitution in full to the state ‘s Unemployment Insurance Trust fund. Let ‘s hope that this sentence has helped her to see more clearly on¬†how important it is to tell the truth when claiming government benefits.

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Wakefield woman guilty of unemployment benefit fraud,” published by The Westerly Sun on April 1, 2017.

A Wakefield woman, Elizabeth Brill, 52, has been sentenced to five years of probation and will be responsible for repaying Rhode Island more than $8,000 in unemployment insurance benefits after pleading to charges of unemployment fraud.

Brill was one of three people who entered no contest pleas Thursday to one count of insurance benefit fraud. West Warick resident Joseph Faria, 45, and Massachusetts resident James Kraus, 42, were also convicted and required to repay the state for fraudulent collection of benefits, officials said.

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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.