Man ordered to repay unemployment benefits

A 51-year-old Jennings County resident recently was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to repay $26,473 in unemployment benefits after pleading guilty to unemployment insurance fraud.

Brian S. Tomlinson of North Vernon received that sentence in Jennings County Circuit Court, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Tomlinson’s conviction stems from an investigation begun by a department employee that determined Tomlinson had been working and receiving wages while claiming unemployment insurance benefits.

The department of workforce development receives wage reports and new hire data from Hoosier employers documenting who is employed and receiving compensation. The agency uses this information to ensure people are not collecting unemployment insurance benefits while working.

Since 2014, courts have ordered fraudsters to repay $8.3 million in restitution to the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

“Combating fraud preserves employer-paid monies in the trust fund for those individuals whom are truly in need of unemployment insurance benefits,” said Kate Shelby, director of the department’s Unemployment Insurance Operations.

To help combat unemployment insurance fraud and abuse, report it online You do not need to provide your name or any other identifying information to file a complaint.