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Press Release

Tennessee Man Indicted For Veterans Unemployment Compensation Benefit Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a Tennessee man was indicted and arrested for fraudulently obtaining $7,319 in Veterans’ unemployment compensation benefits from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, Earl Lafayete Hall, III, age 35 of Arlington, Tennessee, is charged with 12 Counts of Mail Fraud and 10 Counts of Money Laundering. According to the Indictment filed on March 2, 2016, Hall applied for Veteran’s unemployment compensation benefits under the false name and identity of another individual.  The bogus application was submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry in Harrisburg. As a result, the Department mailed Hall unemployment compensation benefit checks totaling $7,319 between July and November of 2014.           

The Indictment also alleges the benefit checks were deposited into a bank account Hall controlled in Illinois.  Thereafter, $4,900 in cash was removed from the account. The cash withdrawals form the basis of the Money Laundering counts in the Indictment.

The Indictment also charges Hall with one count of Aggravated Identity Theft.

The indictment was unsealed yesterday following Hall’s arrest by federal agents in Arlington. Hall appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Memphis, Tennessee for a bail hearing and was released on a $5,000 unsecured bail.

Hall received the benefits under the Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service Members Program, which is commonly known as “The UCX Program.” The UCX Program is a federally funded U.S. Department of Labor program administered by the States.  Under this federal-state partnership, the States pay out unemployment insurance benefits to the veterans and are subsequently reimbursed by the various branches of the military.  Benefits are based upon the military wages and pay grade of the serviceman at the time of his or her separation from military service. There is no payroll deduction for UCX unemployment insurance protection. 

The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering & Fraud Investigations, 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. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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Updated March 4, 2016

Financial Fraud