Four convicted of unemployment compensation fraud - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Four convicted of unemployment compensation fraud

Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced Thursday that the Department has successfully prosecuted four Alabamians for unemployment compensation fraud. One of those convictions includes a Dallas County woman.

Judas Knight of Mobile, Amy Whatley of Tyler, Cedric Gardner of Birmingham and Retecia Jackson of Birmingham were all prosecuted. Their cases were not related.

Knight was tried in Mobile County District Court on June 21, 2011. An investigation by the Industrial Relations Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Knight received a total of $2,533.00 in unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled.

Knight was found guilty and sentenced to one year which was suspended for 24 months. He was fined $250, required to pay court costs and to repay the amount of benefits received illegally.

Whatley was tried in Dallas County District Court on May 18, 2011. An investigation by the Industrial Relations Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Whatley received a total of $3,149 in unemployment benefits to which she was not entitled.

Whatley was found guilty and sentenced to 90 days in jail, suspended two years, and was also required to pay court costs and to repay the amount of benefits received illegally.

Gardner was tried in Jefferson County District Court on May 3, 2011. An investigation by the Industrial Relations Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Gardner received a total of $10,149 in unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled.

Gardner pled guilty and was sentenced to one year jail time, suspended two years, and was also required to pay the amount of benefits received illegally.

Jackson was tried in Jefferson County District Court on April 26, 2011. An investigation by the Industrial Relations Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Jackson received a total of $6,599 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Jackson pled guilty and was sentenced to one year jail time, suspended two years, and was also required to repay the amount of benefits received illegally.

"At the Department of Industrial Relations we take claims of unemployment compensation fraud very seriously, and we pursue those cases aggressively," said Surtees. "Especially now in these tough economic times we want to assure that those who are entitled to benefits receive them but that those who try to defraud the system do not go unpunished. We work diligently with the local District Attorney Offices to make sure that we identify and prosecute those individuals who are committing these crimes."

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Press Release

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