Unemployment Insurance Fraud Investigation Yields Three Convictions

INDIANAPOLIS (April 2, 2018) – The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) receives wage reports and new hire data from Hoosier employers documenting who is employed and receiving compensation. The agency’s unemployment insurance fraud investigation taskforce examines claims of individuals who intentionally provide false, misreported or unreported information in order to fraudulently claim benefits. As a result of the taskforce’s investigations, local courts recently found these individuals guilty of unemployment insurance fraud:

  • Michael Barnard, 32, of Indianapolis was sentenced to 545 days of probation and ordered to repay DWD $8,580 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Deborah Peel, 45, of Indianapolis was sentenced to 545 days of probation and ordered to repay DWD $7,531 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • James Peel, 45, of Indianapolis received 545 days – 180 will be served on home detention while the remaining 365 days were suspended to probation. He also was ordered to repay DWD $10,543 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.

Since 2013, Indiana courts have ordered fraudsters to repay millions in restitution to the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. “Combatting fraud preserves employer-paid monies in the trust fund for those individuals whom are truly in need of unemployment insurance benefits,” said Kate Shelby, DWD, Chief Unemployment Insurance Officer.

You can help combat unemployment insurance fraud and abuse by reporting it online at www.in.gov/dwd/fraud. Your efforts will assist the agency in ensuring that tax dollars are spent wisely and unemployment insurance benefits are paid only to people who are eligible to receive them. You do not need to provide your name or any other identifying information in order to file a complaint.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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