08/30/11 Elkhart-Derick W. Heckaman of Elkhart plead guilty to unemployment insurance fraud today. Heckman initially filed for unemployment insurance benefits while he was unemployed, but continued to file for benefits once he returned to work.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development discovered Heckaman had returned to work through new hire information the agency collects. The department uses this information to routinely check the social security numbers of people claiming unemployment insurance against people working. Heckaman showed up as both working and claiming unemployment benefits.
“We routinely investigate fraud and abuse of the unemployment system,” said Mark W. Everson, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. “This amounts to theft, pure and simple.”
Heckaman was ordered to repay the Department of Workforce Development for the benefits he collected while working plus penalties. He owes a total of $42,808.25 and will be placed on probation for four years.
You can help combat unemployment insurance fraud and abuse by reporting it online at www.in.gov/dwd/fraud. Your efforts will help ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely and unemployment insurance benefits are only paid to people who are eligible to receive them. You do not need to provide your name or any other identifying information in order to file a complaint in regards to unemployment insurance fraud.