Two residents convicted in fraud cases

Published 8:27pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees announced Tuesday the Department has successfully prosecuted several Alabamians for unemployment compensation fraud, including two from Dallas County. 

Arthur Harris, of Selma, was tried in Dallas County District Court on March 18.

An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Harris received a total of $2,972 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Harris pled guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending restitution, and two years of unsupervised probation.

He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

Michael D. Turner, of Marion Junction, was also tried in Dallas County District Court on March 18.

An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Turner received a total of $2,600 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Turner pled guilty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which was suspended for two years pending restitution, and two years of unsupervised probation.

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,” Surtees said. “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  fraud may be reported to the Alabama Department of Labor by calling (800) 392-8019.

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