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Alabama Department of Labor Obtaining Convictions for Unemployment Compensation Fraud

June 04, 2019

Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2019

Alabama Department of Labor Obtaining Convictions for Unemployment Compensation Fraud
MONTGOMERY – Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced today that the Department has successfully prosecuted several Alabamians for unemployment compensation fraud. The following individuals were charged with a misdemeanor violation of the Alabama Unemployment Compensation Law by making false statements in claims for benefits:

• Aaron Savage, of Greenville, was tried in Butler County Circuit Court on May 9, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Savage received a total of $4,214 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Savage was placed in a pre-trial diversion program and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended, and one year of supervised probation. He was ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Antonio C. Corder, of Eutaw, was tried in Greene County Circuit Court on February 1, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Corder received a total of $2,865 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Corder pled guilty to an amended theft of property 3rd degree charge and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended, and given one year of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee, court costs, and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Larry Bunton, of Northport, was tried in Tuscaloosa County District Court on March 20, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Bunton received a total of $1,840 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Bunton pled guilty and was ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee and court costs.

• Barbara J. Knox, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court on April 9, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Knox received a total of $3,581 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Knox pled guilty to an amended theft of property 4th degree charge and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended, and given two years of probation. She was also ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

The following individuals were charged with Theft of Property, First Degree:

• Benjamin Hamby, of Gadsden, was tried in Etowah County Circuit Court on May 21, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Hamby received a total of $7,547 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Hamby pled guilty to theft by deception, and was sentenced to 30 months in jail. He was also ordered to pay court costs, and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Patrick D. Stearns, of Sylacauga, was tried in Talladega County Circuit Court on May 8, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Stearns received a total of $13,863 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Stearns pled guilty and was sentenced to 31 months in jail, which was suspended, and given two years of supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Tommie L. Tuck, Jr., of Sylacauga, was tried in Talladega County Circuit Court on April 2, 2019. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Tuck received a total of $5,900 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Tuck pled guilty to an amended charge of Theft of Property, 4th Degree, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.


“Unemployment compensation benefits can serve as a lifeline to those who truly need them,” said Washington. “However, we want to send a message to those who would knowingly defraud the system in order to obtain benefits they aren’t entitled to: This is a crime and you will be prosecuted.”

“Our investigators are continuously working with local District Attorney Offices in order to identify and prosecute those individuals who are committing these crimes. I would also like to remind employers that their timely reporting of new hires is one of the best tools we have to prevent unemployment fraud.”

Suspected unemployment compensation fraud may be reported to the Alabama Department of Labor by calling 1-800-392-8019.

Employers may find more information regarding reporting new hires at http://www.labor.alabama.gov/nh.
The Alabama Department of Labor / The Alabama Career Center System is a partner in Alabama Works, Alabama’s unified workforce system.

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Members of the media needing more information should contact Tara Hutchison at 334-242-8616 / tara.hutchison@labor.alabama.gov


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