Labor Department Recovers $55K in Restitution; 14 Individuals Charged with Fraudulently Collecting Unemployment Benefits
Ongoing investigations conducted by the Missouri Labor Department’s Division of Employment Security (DES) resulted in 14 individuals pleading guilty to charges of fraud. The individuals were charged with stealing by deceit, for fraudulently receiving unemployment benefits which are intended for persons who are unemployed through no fault of their own and are actively seeking work. The individuals have been ordered to pay more than $55,800 total in restitution.
"Unemployment insurance is an important program to help people get back on their feet and stabilize the economy,” said Department Director Larry Rebman. “This Department, along with the administration, is committed to making sure this money gets into the right hands, while at the same time aggressively pursuing those who attempt to cheat the system.”
Routine audits revealed 14 ineligible individuals received UI benefits. These individuals provided false information on weekly applications for UI benefits which caused benefits to be improperly paid. This type of fraud generally constitutes a class C felony, which carries a sentence of up to seven years imprisonment or, if the sentence is suspended, can result in placement on probation for up to five years and an order to make restitution. The individual restitution amounts in these cases range from $835 to $5,328.
In addition to employee fraud, the DES aggressively pursues employer fraud. For more information regarding the DES or to report potential unemployment insurance fraud, visit the Internet site, www.labor.mo.gov/des or call 573-751-3215.