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Orange County Woman Pleads Guilty to Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Updated November 9, 2018 9:12 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - French Lick resident Michelle Chatman, 36, pled guilty to unemployment insurance fraud in Orange County Circuit Court on Nov. 1, 2018.

Through the use of agency records, an Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) employee began an investigation and determined that Chatman was working and receiving wages while claiming unemployment insurance benefits.

Chatman received eight years, with 180 days to be served on home incarceration with electronic monitoring and the remaining seven years and 185 days suspended to probation. She also was ordered to repay DWD $18,970 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.

DWD receives wage reports and new hire data from Hoosier employers documenting who is employed and receiving compensation. The agency uses this information to ensure people are not collecting unemployment insurance benefits while working.

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 who are truly in need of unemployment insurance benefits," said Regina Ashley, DWD, Chief Unemployment Insurance, and Workforce Solutions Officer.

You can help combat unemployment insurance fraud and abuse by reporting it online at www.in.gov/dwd/fraud. Your efforts will help ensure 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.



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