News and Press Releases

Nine kC-area residents plead guilty to stealing u
Unemployment benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2012

            KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that nine Kansas City metropolitan area residents have pleaded guilty to fraudulently receiving unemployment benefits while they were actually employed.

            Scott Wilson, 47, of Independence, Mo., and Lisa A. Myers, 42, of Blue Springs, Mo., pleaded guilty today before U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan to the charge contained in a Sept. 20, 2011, federal indictment.

            Juan D. Rhodes, 54, Latonya Williamson, 37, and Adrienne Morris, 33, all of Kansas City, Mo., and Derrick Hubbard, 39, of Grandview, Mo., also pleaded guilty this week. Curtis Green, 52, and Synethia McDaniel, 38, both of Kansas City, Mo., and Stephanie Heard Hair, 34, address unknown, have also pleaded guilty.

            Each of the defendants pleaded guilty to theft of government property. They each admitted that, acting independently and without any connection to the other defendants, they fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits while they were actually employed. They received both extended unemployment compensation and unemployment benefits under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, which was passed by Congress in February 2009.

            The time frame of the offenses varied among defendants within a three-year period from March 2008 to March 2011. The amount of fraudulent state and federal unemployment benefits also varied among defendants, ranging from $11,254 received by Hair to $20,158 received by Green.

Wilson admitted that he obtained a total of $12,484 in state and federal benefits while he was actually working for Rayview Construction.

Myers admitted that she obtained a total of $16,235 in state and federal benefits while she was actually employed at Truman Medical Center.

Morris admitted that she obtained a total of $13,611 in state and federal benefits while she was actually employed at Wal-Mart.

Green admitted that he obtained a total of $20,158 in state and federal benefits while he was actually working for the Westin Crown Center Hotel.

Hair admitted that she obtained a total of $11, 254 in state and federal benefits while she was actually working for Citywide Transportion.

McDaniel admitted that she obtained a total of $14,935 in state and federal benefits while she was actually working for Durham School Services.

Hubbard admitted that he obtained a total of $13,279 in state and federal benefits while he was actually working at City Market Bar-B-Q, Winslow’s BBQ and Canoe Club.

Rhodes admitted that he obtained a total of $17,397 in state and federal benefits while he was actually working for the Westin Crown Center Hotel.

Williamson admitted that she obtained a total of $11,623 in state and federal benefits while she was actually working for DST Systems, Inc.

            By pleading guilty, each of the defendants agreed to forfeit to the government any property obtained from the proceeds of their offense.

Under federal statutes, each of the defendants is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Pansing Brown. It was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, and the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Employment Security.

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