News and Press Releases

Florida Man Indicted for Wire Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft

February 2, 2011


BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. announced that a Federal Grand Jury returned an indictment charging ARNOLD H. THOMAS, 46, of Fernandina Beach, Florida, with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. THOMAS faces a maximum sentence of 128 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500,000.

The indictment alleges that, beginning on an exact date unknown but continuing through June 2010, THOMAS devised a scheme to defraud the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC). In order to execute the scheme, THOMAS provided false quarterly wage reports to the LWC in the names of fictitious companies. Following the submission of these wage reports, THOMAS fraudulently applied for unemployment insurance benefits in the names of various third parties and thereby received money from the LWC. The filing of these false unemployment applications caused interstate wire transmissions between the LWC in Baton Rouge and Chase Bank in Florida.

The indictment alleges that in all, THOMAS submitted approximately 392 false applications for unemployment insurance benefits which resulted in a loss of approximately $1,254,533 to the LWC.

Thomas F. Farrell, Assistant Inspector General for Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, United States Department of Labor, stated, “Today’s indictment demonstrates my office’s commitment to safeguarding the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Program. We will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate fraud schemes perpetrated against Department of Labor programs.”

United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. stated, “This type of public assistance program is intended to lessen the effects of unemployment by ensuring that the necessities of life can be met while those individuals seek future employment. Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute anyone who seeks to illegally take advantage of this assistance for their personal gain.”

The investigation of STEWART was conducted by the United States Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rich Bourgeois who serves as Deputy Criminal Chief.

NOTE: An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty at trial.


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