Three Individuals Sentenced for Unemployment Insurance Fraud
Special to The Leader
TWC assists with interagency investigation involving stolen identities
AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) aided in the investigation of a scheme involving using stolen identities to file fraudulent Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims. Working with the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Inspector General, DOL’s Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Dallas Police Department, TWC’s Special Investigations Unit identified the scheme that used stolen identities to file fraudulent UI claims against fictitious companies.
Three individuals from the Dallas area including, Latavia Glover, Corey Toney and Romar Bernard, were investigated and indicted for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft of government money.
Toney and Bernard each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft and were sentenced on July 21, 2016. Bernard and Toney were sentenced to 74 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $252,304 in restitution, while Glover pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Glover received 24 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $252,304 in restitution. Each will also serve an additional two-year term of supervised release after completing their prison term.
“TWC is committed to preventing abuse of the UI program and protecting the integrity of the UI system through prosecution of individuals who engage in fraud,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “Safeguarding the UI Trust Fund for the hard working employers and workers of Texas is one of our top priorities.”
TWC’s Regulatory Integrity Division (RID) is charged with detecting and preventing fraud, waste and abuse. RID enforces all regulatory statutes within the jurisdiction of the agency, including Tax, Workforce, Trade Act, Skills Development Fund, Self-Sufficiency Fund, Child Care Development Fund and all other programs that TWC administers. Prevention, detection, and elimination of fraud, waste and abuse in the UI benefits program are top priorities; ensuring funds are available exclusively to those who meet the eligibility requirements.
“Employers fund the UI program and TWC is committed to ensuring that the system is properly administered,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “As a result of this interagency effort, we have demonstrated our commitment to catch and prosecute those who would defraud the taxpayers of Texas.”
Debt to the state does not go away unless it is paid. The Texas Constitution prohibits forgiving such debt, and TWC continues to pursue and collect fraud, and overpayments obtained through fraud along with all other types of overpayments indefinitely. Examples of reportable violations can be found on the TWC website at Reporting Fraud.
To report suspected fraud, waste or program abuse in any of the TWC programs, call the TWC Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline at 800-252-3642.