TKC BREAKING NEWS!! A DOZEN KANSAS CITY AREA RESIDENTS INDICTED FOR STEALING UNEMPLOYMENT BENNIES!!!
An important crime and punishment story for this epoch in the American economy.
A DOZEN KC-AREA RESIDENTS INDICTED FOR STEALING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that 12 Kansas City metropolitan area residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury for fraudulently receiving federal unemployment benefits while they were actually employed.
“Each of these defendants is charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the public,” Ketchmark said. “On behalf of honest taxpayers, we will aggressively prosecute those who resort to deceit to try to cheat the system.”
Constance Martin, 35, Jimmy Kirkland, 52, Ronald Jones, 42, Christy A. Kelley, 43, Johnny Fonville, 55, Robert Manning, 46, Curtis Eugene Means, 57, and Dana Nichelle Bryant, 45, all of Kansas City, Mo., James Turpin, 36, of Hawaii, formerly of Kansas City, Mo., Ramon A. Matos, 43, of Independence, Mo., Ryan S. Thrasher, 34, of Blue Springs, Mo., and David Pummill, Jr., 32, of Sedalia, Mo., were charged in a 24-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Oct. 17, 2012. The indictment was unsealed and made public today upon the arrests and initial court appearances of several defendants.
“These charges demonstrate the Office of Inspector General’s commitment to combat fraud in the Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Programs. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate those who allegedly seek to obtain benefits to which they are not entitled,” said James Vanderberg, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
Each of the 12 defendants is charged with one count of theft of government property and one count of bank fraud. The indictment alleges that each defendant, acting independently and without any connection to the other 11 defendants, fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits while they were actually employed. Those benefits were transferred to MasterCard debit cards issued by Central Bank in Jefferson City, Mo.
According to the indictment, the time frame of the offenses varied among defendants within a three-year period from October 2008 to August 2011. The amount of fraudulent state and federal unemployment benefits alleged in the indictment likewise varied among defendants:
The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require each defendant to forfeit to the government any property obtained from the proceeds of the alleged offenses.
Ketchmark cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
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.