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Two residents charged with unemployment compensation fraud

Published 2:58pm Friday, April 12, 2013

The Alabama Department of Labor has successfully prosecuted several Alabamians for unemployment compensation fraud.

Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees said on Friday that 15 people, including two Chilton County residents, were charged with violating the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law by making false statements in claims for benefits.

Crystal McDonald of Verbena was tried in Chilton County District Court on March 19. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that McDonald had received a total of $10,970 in benefits that she was not entitled.

She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending restitution and two years of unsupervised probation. She was also fined $400 and required to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Monica White of Clanton was also tried in Chilton County District Court on March 19 after the Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that White had received a total of $1,592 in benefits for which she was not entitled.

White pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending restitution and two years of unsupervised probation. She was fined $400 and required to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

The two Chilton County females were among a list of 13 others from different counties throughout Alabama found to have made false statements when claiming benefits.

“We at the Alabama Department of Labor want people to know that we are aggressively pursuing cases of unemployment compensation fraud,” Surtees said in a release. “Especially in these economic times, we want to make sure that all who are entitled to benefits receive them. But at the same time, we will not allow those who deliberately try to defraud the system go unpunished. We are working with local district attorney offices to make sure that we can identify and prosecute those individuals who are committing these crimes.”

Suspected unemployment compensation fraud may be reported to the Alabama Department of Labor by calling 1-800-392-8019.

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