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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gaithersburg Woman Convicted of Submitting Four Fraudulent Claims for Unemployment Insurance Benefits

 
 


Greenbelt, Maryland – Rebecca Lynn Biglow, age 42, of Gaithersburg, Maryland pleaded guilty today to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a fraud scheme to obtain $71,022 in unemployment insurance benefits. Biglow also pleaded guilty to violating terms of her supervised release imposed after she had served time in prison for a previous federal conviction for bank fraud.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Bill Jones, of the Washington Regional Office, U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and Mark Kaufman, Commissioner of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s (DLLR) Division of Financial Regulation.

"Rebecca Biglow filed fraudulent unemployment insurance claims while she was already under court supervision for a previous crime," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to her plea agreement, on September 9, 2009, Biglow submitted an unemployment insurance benefits claim to DLLR, claiming that she had worked from April 2008 to September 2009 for a home cleaning service company, where she earned wages totaling $23,390. In fact, Biglow was incarcerated from October 2007 to August 2009, and had not worked for the company. From September 2009 to January 2011, DLLR paid Biglow a total of $17,272 on this claim.

On May 20, 2011, Biglow submitted another claim for unemployment insurance benefits, stating that she had worked for an individual at a business where she earned wages totaling $36,042.18. In reality, Biglow never worked for this individual. From May 2011 to December 2012, DLLR paid Biglow a total of $29,670 on this second claim.

On May 31, 2013, Biglow submitted a third unemployment benefits claim using the name, social security number and date of birth of another individual. Biglow falsely claimed that this individual had worked from June 2012 to May 2013 for a child care center, where the individual had earned $54,370 in wages. From June to December 2013, DLLR paid a total of $13,330 on this claim.

Finally, on October 25, 2013, Biglow submitted a fourth unemployment benefits claim falsely stating that she had worked at a candle business, earning $36,798 in wages from February to October 2013. From October 2013 to May 2014, DLLR paid Biglow $10,750 on this claim.

Biglow agrees to pay forfeiture and restitution of $71,022, the total amount paid by DLLR on the four fraudulent claims.

Bigelow was on supervised release during the time she submitted these false claims, after having served time in prison for a previous bank fraud scheme.

Biglow faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for mail fraud; a mandatory minimum of two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence imposed for aggravated identity theft; and three years in prison for violating her supervised release, less any term of imprisonment imposed upon revocation of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow scheduled sentencing for March 2, 2015.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Department of Labor – OIG and DLLR for their work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Windom, who is prosecuting the case.

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Updated January 27, 2015