Belleville Man Sentenced for Defrauding Federal Unemployment Insurance Program
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that Kevin Veath, 54, of Belleville, Illinois, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for defrauding the unemployment insurance program. Following his plea of guilty on October 3, 2012, to a one-count indictment for Embezzlement of Public Funds, the District Court sentenced Veath to a 5 year term of probation. He also was ordered to repay approximately $15,245 in restitution to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and to pay a $100 special assessment.
“Everyone should know that 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 his guilty plea, Veath admitted to being employed between February 2009 and September 2009 while also filing for and receiving unemployment insurance benefits. In order to receive the benefits, Veath had to certify, approximately every two weeks, to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) that he was not working and that he was ready, willing, and able to work. He also had to verify that he was actively seeking work. Veath was supposed to inform IDES of any income he received during the certification period, but he did not report that he was employed and earning money, instead choosing to collect both wages and benefits simultaneously. Between February and September of 2009, Veath collected $16,645 in employment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled; however, Veath began repaying the money he stole before sentencing, resulting in the lower restitution order.
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 Special Assistant United States Attorney Katherine L. Lewis.