Mishawaka resident Michael J. Hillebrand III, 30, pled guilty Friday, March 23, in the United States Northern District Court in South Bend to unemployment insurance fraud, a Class D Felony. Hillebrand purposefully defrauded the system by collecting unemployment insurance benefits while working full-time.
The investigation began when an Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) employee confirmed Hillebrand was working and receiving wages while claiming unemployment insurance benefits. Using agency records and infromation from Hillebrand’s employer, DWD investigated and was able to verify he did receive benefits while working full-time.
“Individuals who receive unemployment benefits while working full-time are knowingly breaking the law, and will be held accountable,” said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “Unemployment benefits are for those who are truly in need.”
Hillebrand was ordered to repay DWD the $17,937 in benefits he fraudulently received, as well as an additional $13,000 in penalties and interest, for a total of $30,937. He was also sentenced to two years of probation, but will serve the time in prison if he violates the terms of his plea agreement.
You can help combat unemployment insurance fraud and abuse by reporting it online at www.in.gov/dwd/fraud. Your efforts will help ensure 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 inform DWD of unemployment insurance fraud.