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Alabama Department of Labor Obtaining Convictions for Unemployment Compensation Fraud

November 06, 2019

Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 6, 2019

Alabama Department of Labor Obtaining Convictions for Unemployment Compensation Fraud
MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that the Department has successfully prosecuted several Alabamians for unemployment compensation fraud. The following individuals were charged with a violation of the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law by making false statements in claims for benefits:

• Dina Crocton, of Gadsden, was tried in Etowah County Circuit Court on September 18, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Crocton received a total of $5,163 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Crocton pled guilty to an amended charge of Theft of Property, 4th Degree, and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for two years, and given two years of supervised probation. She was also ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Russell J. Smith, of Lowndesboro, was tried in Lowndes County District Court on August 27, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Smith received a total of $1,590 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Smith pled guilty and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• James C. Wilson, of Reform was tried in Pickens County Circuit Court on September 24, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Wilson received a total of $6,500 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Wilson pled guilty and was sentenced to five years in jail, which was suspended, and given five years of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee, court costs, and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

The following individuals were charged with Theft of Property, Second Degree:

• Shasta N. Ellison, of Robertsdale, was tried in Baldwin County Circuit Court on August 6, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Ellison received a total of $2,044 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Ellison pled guilty to theft of property, 4th degree, and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended. She was also ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee, court costs, and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Carla L. Breaux-Snow, of Gadsden, was tried in Etowah County Circuit Court on October 7, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Breaux-Snow received a total of $1,309 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Breaux-Snow pled guilty to theft by deception, 2nd degree, and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended, and given one year of unsupervised probation. She was also ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee, court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

“Unemployment compensation benefits can serve as a lifeline to those who truly need them,” said Washington. “However, we want to send a message to those who would knowingly defraud the system in order to obtain benefits they aren’t entitled to: This is a crime and you will be prosecuted.”

“Our investigators are continuously working with local District Attorney Offices in order to identify and prosecute those individuals who are committing these crimes. I would also like to remind employers that their timely reporting of new hires is one of the best tools we have to prevent unemployment fraud.”

Suspected unemployment compensation fraud may be reported to the Alabama Department of Labor by calling 1-800-392-8019.

Employers may find more information regarding reporting new hires at http://www.labor.alabama.gov/nh.
The Alabama Department of Labor / The Alabama Career Center System is a partner in Alabama Works, Alabama’s unified workforce system.

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Members of the media needing more information should contact Tara Hutchison at 334-242-8616 / tara.hutchison@labor.alabama.gov


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