AL Dept. of Labor gets convictions for unemployment compensation - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

AL Dept. of Labor gets convictions for unemployment compensation fraud

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Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees announced Monday that the Department has successfully prosecuted several Alabamians for unemployment compensation fraud.

The following individuals were charged with violating the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law by making false statements in claims for benefits:

Robert L. Long, of Birmingham, was tried in Jefferson County District Court on August 26, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Long received a total of $4,275 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Long pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months in jail, which was suspended pending restitution, and two years of probation. He was ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Selma Battle, of Hurtsboro, was tried in Russell County District Court on August 26, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Battle received a total of $3,627 in benefits to which she was not entitled. Battle pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which was suspended for 180 days. She was also fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Shirley A. Johnson, of Selma, was tried in Dallas County District Court on August 27, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Johnson received a total of $5,126 in benefits to which she was not entitled. Johnson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending restitution, and given two years of unsupervised probation. She was also required to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Steven Coleman, of Phenix City, was tried in Russell County District Court on August 30, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Coleman received a total of $1,005 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Coleman pleaded guilty and was fined $100 and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Joshua Vanzile, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County District Court on August 29, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Vanzile received a total of $2,381 in benefits to which he was not entitled.Vanzile pled guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending behavior of the defendant. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Althea Berry, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County District Court on August 30, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Berry received a total of $2,271 in benefits to which she was not entitled. Berry pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending behavior of the defendant. She was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Anderson Brown, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County District Court on September 4, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Brown received a total of $1,189 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Brown pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending behavior of the defendant. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Jermaine V. Davis, of Munford, was tried in Talladega County District Court on September 5, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Davis received a total of $1,222 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Davis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally within six months. Should the full amount not be paid by that time, he will be sentenced to jail time.

Jerry L. Lollar, of Mobile, was tried in Mobile County District Court on September 9, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Lollar received a total of $1,586 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Lollar pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in jail, which was suspended for two years pending full restitution, and given two years of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a bond fee of $101, court costs, and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Lacey Tidwell, of Cordova, was tried in Walker County District Court on September 10, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Tidwell received a total of $5,251 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Tidwell pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which was suspended, and two years of unsupervised probation. He was also fined $100 and ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Stephen R. Sims, of Jasper, was tried in Walker County District Court on September 10, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Sims received a total of $2,736 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Sims pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended, and one year of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Terrance Stallworth, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County District Court on September 4, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Stallworth received a total of $4,570 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Stallworth pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending behavior of the defendant. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Robbie Bishop, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County District Court on September 4, 2013. An investigation by Labor's Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Bishop received a total of $3,988 in benefits to which he was not entitled. Bishop pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending behavior of the defendant. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

"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," said Surtees. "We are working with local District Attorney Offices to make sure that we can identify and prosecute those individuals who are committing these crimes. We would also like to remind employers that their timely reporting of new hires is one of the best tools we have to detect unemployment fraud."

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

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Dept. of Labor

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