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Three Tacomans among those charged with collecting unemployment while working

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on May 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm with 5 Comments »
May 22, 2012 2:14 pm

Federal prosecutors today charged six people  – three of them from Tacoma and one from Auburn – with collecting thousands in unemployment while they held down jobs.

Illegal payouts ranged from $14,000 to $78,000, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle reported in a news release.

Authorities are looking for some of the defendants. Others have been summoned to U.S. District Court to answer the charges.

“For so many people and families, unemployment benefits have kept a roof over their heads and food on the table.  Cheaters, such as these defendants, reduce the safety net for those who truly need it,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said in the news release. “We will aggressively protect the program.”

The Tacomans charged were:

• Kimberlynn Chandler, 42. Prosecutors contend she claimed unemployment benefits from November 2009 to September 2010.  During that time she was employed by Hawaiian Airlines earning more than $67,000, court records show.  Investigators allege she illegally collected $26,038 in unemployment.

• Roderick Payne, 36. Prosecutors contend he claimed unemployment benefits while working as a valet parking attendant at a Bellevue hotel.  Between March 2009 and February 2011, Payne is alleged to have claimed $28,154 in fraudulent unemployment benefits.

• Fio Fio, Jr., 36. Prosecutors allege he collected benefits at various times between 2009 and 2011, when he was actually employed.  At one point in 2009, Fio was banned from collecting benefits for six months after investigators suspected he was defrauding the government.  In 2011, an audit determined Fio was again claiming benefits while employed.  The alleged loss is about $15,000.

Auburn resident Sara Propernick, 27, is alleged to have claimed unemployment benefits using the name and social security number of her boyfriend, who was incarcerated. Propernick would use the unemployment benefits telephone system to claim benefits each week, prosecutors said.  Between June 2008 and November 2009, Propernick allegedly collected $20,994 in illegal benefits.

Theft of government funds is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The cases were investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector Generaland the Washington State Employment Security Department.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Book’em Dano. More candidates for the recently revived Soylent Green Project.

  2. aylawoman says:

    “Theft of government funds is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.”

    We can only hope that all of them get the maximum penalties!!

    And is there really someone named Fio Fio Sr.??

  3. Jupiter25 says:

    No slaps on the wrists for them and no plea bargains. Make them pay with hard time, and lots of it. tired of seeing these people commit crime, even property crimes taking government money and then not being hit with severe punishment. Make them sweat!

  4. NakedRat says:

    I think Durkan should also check the entire unemployment system itself. Crooks are very good at exploiting vulnerabilities in any computer system. There really should be another layer of security or at least another system to catch those who are clearly commiting fraud. I’m not saying these people are innocent – they certainly should be punished, but the state is at least as guilty if the system is not as robust as it should be.

  5. fanciladi says:

    Jerks…throw the book at them!!!

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