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Unemployment Insurance Fraud Investigation Yields 38 Convictions
Updated April 4, 2017 4:19 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - 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 found these individuals guilty of unemployment insurance fraud across Indiana:

  • Aaron R. Balliet of Fort Wayne was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to repay $13,772.25 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Aaron J. Beldon of Argos was sentenced to two years of home detention, four years of probation and ordered to repay $48,317 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Joshua J. Bradley of Claypool was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $13,330.20 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Melvin R. Burroughs of Indianapolis was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to repay $22,741.50 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Ty L. Bush of Greenwood was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $16,679 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Jourdan C. Castellanos of Gary was sentenced to 18 months of probation and ordered to repay $10,027 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Michael A. Christensen of Crown Point was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $24,673.50 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Brooks O. Culpepper IV of Hobart was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to repay $37,383.75 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Franklin P. Davis of Marion was sentenced to two years of home detention, two years of probation and ordered to repay $24,972 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Aurelia L. Dunnivan of Indianapolis was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $17,156.25 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Donnetta Dunston of Fishers was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $13,931.86 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Richard W. Fort of Indianapolis was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $13,499 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Deborah A. Fowler of South Bend was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to repay $33,239 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Ricky L. Frye Jr. of Bloomington was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to repay $8,000 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Andria S. Fuller of Fort Wayne was sentenced to four years of probation, 80 hours of community service and ordered to repay $24,911 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Timothy A. Gronek of Valparaiso was sentenced to 18 months of probation and ordered to repay $12,926 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Sandra Hallman of South Bend was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to repay $17,656 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Darin C. Hanson of Fort Wayne was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to repay $42,267.40 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Sharon K. Humbles of Fishers was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to repay $7,643 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Richard R. Jewell of LaPorte was sentenced to two years of probation, two weeks in jail and ordered to repay $15,696 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Jason L. Johnson of Dayton was sentenced to 270 days in jail, three years and 95 days of probation and ordered to repay $12,968 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Natcole C. Johnson of Indianapolis was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $17,421.63 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Christopher W. Jones of Indianapolis was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $14,137.50 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Tonya S. Linkous of Richmond was sentenced to two years in jail, six years of probation and ordered to repay $32,331 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Juan L. Nieto of Fort Wayne was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to repay $7,680 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Michael A. Peclet of Flat Rock was sentenced to four years in jail, three years of probation and ordered to repay $31,849.50 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Brittany N. Pennington of Fountain City was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to repay $7,425 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • David J. Porter of Fort Wayne was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to repay $33,972 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Saul R. Reyes of Whiting was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $38,263 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Cheyenne D. Ritenour of Warsaw was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $14,394 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Chad Sharp of Lake Station was sentenced to two and a half years of probation and ordered to repay $10,237.50 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Clay D. Snyder of Shelbyville was sentenced to one year in jail, three years of home detention, three years of probation and ordered to repay $42,719.33 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Rodney Varpucianskas of Hammond was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $29,462.40 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Symphonie Watkins of South Bend was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to repay $10,341 for the benefits she fraudulently collected.
  • Andrew L. Weddle of Richmond was sentenced to two and a half years of probation and ordered to repay $10,868 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Thomas G. Wrzalinski of McCordsville was sentenced to one year of home detention, 18 months of probation and ordered to repay $12,178 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.
  • Barry L. Wyatt of Alexandria was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to repay $21,315 for the benefits he fraudulently collected.

Since last June, more than $750,000 must be repaid to DWD as restitution for fraudulently claiming unemployment insurance benefits.

Throughout the past three years, DWD has increased its efforts to identify and prosecute individuals who committed unemployment insurance fraud. 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.



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