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Alabama Department of Labor Obtaining Convictions for Unemployment Compensation Fraud

February 22, 2018

Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2018

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 misdemeanor violation of the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law by making false statements in claims for benefits:

• Victor Davis, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court on February 6, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Davis received a total of $1,437 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Davis pled guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for two years, and given two 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.

• Jerome Whitt, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court on January 22, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Whitt received a total of $3,179 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Whitt pled guilty and was sentenced to 15 years in jail, which was suspended, and placed three years of unsupervised probation. He was 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, First Degree:

• Matthew Jones, of Fort Payne, was tried in Dekalb County Circuit Court on October 27, 2017. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Jones received a total of $3,315 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Jones pled guilty to Theft of Property, Third Degree and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Shantrell Scott, of Birmingham, was tried in Jefferson County Circuit Court on December 6, 2017. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Scott received a total of $4,505 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Scott pled guilty to Theft of Property, Fourth Degree and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for one year, and placed on two years of unsupervised probation. She was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Larry Hill, of Gurley, was tried in Madison County Circuit Court on December 7, 2017. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Hill received a total of $2,005 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Hill pled guilty to Theft of Property, Third Degree and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for two years, and placed on two 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.

• Jacqueline Y. Jones, of Madison, was tried in Madison County Circuit Court on December 7, 2017. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Jones received a total of $15,656 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Jones pled guilty to Theft of Property, Third Degree and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for two years, and placed on two years 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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