Tennessee Couple Sentenced To Prison For Unemployment Compensation Fraud
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Earl Lafayette Hall, III, age 37, of Arlington, Tennessee, was sentenced on February 15, 2018, to 116 months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release by United States District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo for conspiracy, mail fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft charges related to an unemployment compensation fraud scheme. Hall’s wife, Renita Blunt, age 33, was sentenced to 29months’ imprisonment and three years’ supervised release on January 17, 2018, for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft counts.
Judge Rambo also ordered Hall to pay $96,431 and Blunt to pay $38,633 restitution to the Utah, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii Departments of Labor.
According to U.S. Attorney David J. Freed, Hall and Blunt were convicted by a jury on March 10, 2017. Hall was convicted on 12 mail fraud counts, 10 money laundering counts, four aggravated identity theft counts, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Blunt was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. The jury also directed Hall to forfeit the sum of $30,000 and Blunt to forfeit $1,026.
Hall and Blunt applied for Veteran’s unemployment compensation benefits under the Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Members Program, commonly known as “The UCX Program.” The UCX Program is a federally funded U.S. Department of Labor program administered by the States. Hall assumed the identity of 10 individuals between 2013 and 2014 in order to receive benefits under the program. Blunt assumed the identity of one individual to receive benefits under the program.
“Hall and Blunt defrauded the Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and Utah unemployment insurance agencies by conspiring to steal the identities of ex-military members in order to receive benefits under the Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Members (UCX) Program. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard the UCX Program, a federally funded U.S. Department of Labor unemployment compensation program,” said Richard Deer, Special Agent-in-Charge, Philadelphia Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, U.S. Defense Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service with assistance from Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Internal Audits Division, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Office of Unemployment Compensation Benefits and Policy, and the Pennsylvania Department of the Treasury, Office of Unemployment Compensation Disbursements. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kim Douglas Daniel and Scott R. Ford prosecuted the case.
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