E. Alabama man accused of jobless compensation fraud

Press Release 

Alabamians charged with unemployment compensation fraud

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Industrial Relations Director Tom Surtees announced  that the following individuals were successfully prosecuted for violating the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law.

They were charged with making false statements in claims for unemployment benefits:

• Phillip B. Lockhart, of Opelika, was tried in Lee County District Court on May 11, 2010. An investigation by the Industrial Relations Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Lockhart received a total of $2,751.00 in unemployment benefits to which he was not entitled.

Lockhart pled guilty and was sentenced to 28 months in jail, suspended for 28 months. He was ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

"We at the Department of Industrial Relations want people to know that we are aggressively pursuing cases of unemployment compensation fraud," said Surtees.

"Especially in these economic times, we want to make sure that all who are entitled to benefits receive them. But at the same time, we will not allow those who deliberately try to defraud the system to go unpunished. We are working with local District Attorney Offices to make sure that we can identify and prosecute those individuals who are committing these crimes."

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

Source: Alabama Department of Industrial Relations