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 Cymica Grant, 35, of Belleville, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court for defrauding the unemployment insurance program. The District Court sentenced Grant to a 5 year term of probation. Grant also was ordered to pay 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, Grant admitted to being employed both between July 2008 and June 2009 and also during January 2010 while at the same time filing for and receiving unemployment insurance benefits. In order to receive the benefits, Grant had to certify, approximately every two weeks, to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) that she was not working and that she was ready, willing, and able to work. She also had to verify that she was actively seeking work. Grant was supposed to inform IDES of any income she received during the certification period, but she did not report that she was employed and earning money, instead choosing to collect both wages and benefits simultaneously. Between July 2008 and January 2010, Grant collected $26,417 in employment insurance benefits to which she was not entitled.
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, and was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Katherine L. Lewis.