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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 15, 2018

Man guilty of fraudulent unemployment insurance benefit claim

Aug 03, 2017

DES MOINES — A 55-year-old Williamsburg man will serve a total of 100 days in jail for fraudulently receiving $10,747 of Iowa Unemployment Insurance benefits between Dec. 27, 2015, and June 25, 2016.

Paul Meade has been convicted of fraudulent practice in the third degree, an aggravated misdemeanor.

“Pursuing those who claim benefits fraudulently is part of our ongoing effort to prevent fraud, waste and abuse,” said Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Our goal is to recover misused funds, maintain the integrity of the unemployment insurance trust fund, and send the message that fraud will not be tolerated.”

During the time Meade was filing for unemployment insurance benefits, he also was receiving wages from Whirlpool Corporation. Meade’s case was turned over to the Iowa County Attorney’s Office in February. The total amount Meade will repay Iowa Workforce Development is $12,359.05. Per Iowa Code 96.16-4(b), a 15 percent penalty was added in the amount of $1,612.05.

“This is a big win,” said David Steen, an attorney with Iowa Workforce Development. “With this sentence including jail time, this might make others think twice before fraudulently claiming unemployment insurance benefits.”

“It’s important to hold Iowans abusing the system accountable,” said Ryan West, the Unemployment Insurance Division Administrator for Iowa Workforce Development. “Committing fraud means a financial burden is placed elsewhere which is not fair to other law abiding citizens.”

The amount paid will be added to Iowa’s unemployment compensation trust fund.

“Deposits to the trust fund benefit employers,” said West. “It maintains the trust fund solvency, which in turn helps Iowa employers by maintaining a lower unemployment insurance tax rate.”

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