Former Southern Illinois Resident Sentenced for Defrauding Federal Unemployment Insurance Program
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Gloria Barker, 60, of Covington, Georgia was sentenced on December 21, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, East St. Louis Division for defrauding the unemployment insurance program. Following her plea of guilty on September 19, 2012, to a one-count indictment for Embezzlement of Public Funds, the District Court sentenced Barker to 30 days in jail to be followed by a 3 year term of supervised release. Barker also was ordered to repay $15,162 in restitution to the Illinois Department of Employment Security and to pay a $100 special assessment.
“Lying and cheating to receive unemployment compensation is a crime,” said United States Attorney Wigginton. “Those who defraud the unemployment insurance program undermine support for an important public program and hurt and insult every law-abiding citizen of Southern Illinois, particularly as public programs face economic crises. I will continue to place a high priority on pursuing those who steal from the United States Treasury.”
At the time of her guilty plea, Barker admitted to being employed between September 2009 and August 2010. Between October 2009 and August 2010, Barker also filed for and received unemployment insurance benefits. In order to receive the benefits, Barker had to certify, approximately every two weeks, to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) that she was ready, willing, and able to work. She has had to verify that she was actively seeking work. Barker was supposed to inform IDES of any income she received during the certification period, but she did not report that she was working and did not report the income she earned to IDES, instead choosing to collect both wages and benefits simultaneously.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Katherine L. Lewis.