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2010-03-18 digital edition

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2010-03-18 / General Stories

Twelve Plead Guilty in Unemployment Benefits Fraud Case

TWC assists U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Postal Inspection Service in investigation

Twelve individuals have pled guilty and have been sentenced on charges of mail fraud or theft of public money involving Unemployment Insurance (UI), the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced today.

The convictions were the result of an investigation into mail fraud and identity theft in the Camp County area, conducted by TWC, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise Simpson.

The individuals convicted were involved in a fraudulent scheme to obtain UI benefits from TWC. The 25 fraudulent UI claims totaled $80,433, of which $56,928 were paid.

“Unemployment insurance is there for those who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Prosecuting those who try to cheat the system sends a strong message to others who may attempt the same thing,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken.

The following individuals have pled guilty and have been sentenced in the above case:

• Quaneshia Baker, 28, Daingerfield, TX — Convicted of mail fraud; sentenced to 4 years probation and ordered to pay $9,100 restitution and $100 in court costs.

• Shaneka Baker-Adams, 24, Longview, TX — Convicted of mail fraud; sentenced to 4 years probation and ordered to pay $5,514 restitution and $100 in court costs.

• Annie Grigsby, 46, Leesburg, TX — Convicted of mail fraud; sentenced to 4 years probation and ordered to pay $5,796 restitution and $100 in court costs.

• Shalonda Grigsby-Moton, 28, Leesburg, TX — Convicted of theft of public money; sentenced to 1 year probation and ordered to pay $1,386 restitution and $25 in court costs.

• Sonya Harris, 36, Balch Springs, TX — Convicted of theft of public money; sentenced to 2 years probation and ordered to pay $4,557 restitution and $25 in court costs.

• Kimila Jones, 37, Balch Springs, TX — Convicted of theft of public money; sentenced to 4 years probation and ordered to pay $5,653 restitution and $25 in court costs.

• Agatha Moore, 24, Pittsburg, TX — Convicted of theft of public money; sentenced to 1 year probation and ordered to pay $3,579 restitution and $25 in court costs.

• Shanealdolyn Morrow, 21, Hughes Springs, TX — Convicted of theft of public money; sentenced to 1 year probation and ordered to pay $540 restitution and $25 in court costs.

• Shanndolyn Morrow, 28, Hughes Springs, TX — Convicted of mail fraud; sentenced to 90 days incarceration and ordered to pay $2,030 restitution and $100 in court costs.

• Shunndolyn Morrow, 22, Prairie View, TX — Convicted of theft of public money; sentenced to 9 months probation and ordered to pay $120 restitution and $25 in court costs.

• Annie Rogers, 29, Pittsburg, TX — Convicted of mail fraud; sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $3,505 restitution and $100 in court costs.

• Travis Williams, 33, Hughes Springs, TX — Convicted of mail fraud; sentenced to 27 months incarceration and ordered to pay $5,176 restitution and $100 in court costs.

TWC’s Regulatory Integrity Division is charged with detecting and preventing fraud, waste and abuse. The division enforces all regulatory statutes within the jurisdiction of the agency, including Tax, Workforce, Trade Act, Skills Development, Self-Sufficiency, Child Care and all other programs that TWC administers. Prevention, detection, and elimination of fraud and abuse in the UI program are top priorities, ensuring that funds are available exclusively to those who meet the eligibility requirements.

TWC administers UI benefits to workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own and are actively seeking work. TWC regularly cross matches UI claims with employer wage reports and other databases to detect possible UI fraud. If TWC discovers that claimants have received UI benefits through fraudulent applications, the agency seeks immediate reimbursement of overpayments. Examples of UI fraud include giving false information and failure to report self-employment or other earnings while receiving UI benefits.

To report suspected UI fraud, call the TWC Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline at (800) 252-3642. For monthly updates on fraud convictions, see TWC’s Web site at http://www.twc.state.tx.us/ui/ bnfts/prosecutiondispo.html.

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