Local resident prosecuted for unemployment compensation fraud

Published 3:42 pm Monday, June 15, 2015

A Chilton County resident was recently prosecuted for unemployment compensation fraud, according to a release from Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington.

Joseph Saldana, of Montevallo, was tried in Chilton County District Court on May 12 for violating the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law by making false statements in claims for benefits, according to the release.

An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Saldana received a total of $7,867 in benefits to which he was not entitled, according to the release.

Saldana pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in jail and given two years of unsupervised probation.

His sentence will not be suspended until he pays $500 in restitution. He was also fined $300 and ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally, according to the release.

“Unemployment compensation benefits can serve as a lifeline to those who truly need them,” Washington said in the release. “However, we want to send a message to those who would knowingly

defraud the system in order to obtain benefits they aren’t entitled to: This is a crime, and you will be prosecuted.

“Our investigators are continuously working with local district attorney offices in order to

identify and prosecute those individuals who are committing these crimes. I would also like to

remind employers that their timely reporting of new hires is one of the best tools we have to

prevent unemployment fraud.”

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

Employers may find more information regarding reporting new hires at www.labor.alabama.gov/nh.