Unemployment Benefit Fraud Cases Rise


The number of unemployment benefit frauds here in Wyoming has quadrupled from 2008.  

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services recently prosecuted a fraud case involving a high amount of money stolen by someone who claimed to be unemployed.  There were 2,000 of these cases in 2010--four times the number of fraud cases in 2008.  

Now the Department is giving warnings.  They're telling those who are leeching off the government that sooner or later, they'll come for them.  

And when the Department gets to their case, they'll first offer the benefit of the doubt, since many say they just didn't know how the program worked.  The suspect will have an opportunity to repay the Department.  If they fail, the Department moves to step 2: small claims court, and when nothing else can be done, the case moves to the Attorney General's office. At that point, the criminal charge will be a felony.  

While Evans' employees are investigating the 2,000 cases, she's doing what she can to prevent future fraud.  She's plans to better educate her workers as well as those applying for unemployment benefits.  The Department also plans to upgrade technology to better track frauds, and they encourage employers to file new-hire reports.