(INDIANAPOLIS) - Stendel resident Jeremy Nichols, 27, entered a guilty Monday in Dubois County Circuit Court in Jasper to unemployment insurance fraud, a Class D Felony. Nichols purposefully defrauded the system by collecting unemployment insurance benefits while working full-time.
The investigation began when an Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) employee confirmed Nichols was working and receiving wages while claiming unemployment insurance benefits. Using agency records and information from Nichols' employer, DWD investigated and was able to verify he worked while claiming unemployment insurance benefits.
"Individuals who receive unemployment benefits while working full-time are knowingly breaking the law, and will be held accountable," said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. "The State of Indiana works diligently to safeguard these funds for those truly in need."
Nichols was ordered to pay DWD $375 a month for the benefits he collected, plus penalties and interest, totaling $27,338. He was also sentenced to six years of probation, but will serve the time in prison if he violates the terms of his plea agreement.
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.
You can also 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 only paid 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 in regards to unemployment insurance fraud.
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