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Alabama Department of Labor Obtaining Convictions for Unemployment Compensation Fraud

November 07, 2018

Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 7, 2018

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:

• Andre Lee, of Montgomery, was tried in Montgomery County Circuit Court on October 17, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Lee received a total of $2,687 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Lee was sentenced to a pre-trial diversion program, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Michael Porter, of Montgomery, was tried in Montgomery County Circuit Court on September 24, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Porter received a total of $3,865 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Porter was sentenced to a pre-trial diversion program, and was ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee, court costs, and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally. If the program is not completed, he will be sentenced to 15 years in jail, suspended for three years, and placed on three years of supervised probation.

• Isiah Taylor, of Montgomery, was tried in Montgomery County Circuit Court on September 11, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Taylor received a total of $2,385 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Taylor was convicted and sentenced to two years in jail, which was suspended for two years, and given one year of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Whitney Wells, of Tuscaloosa, was tried in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court on October 23, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Wells received a total of $6,704 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Wells was sentenced to a pre-trial diversion program and was ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

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

• Kyle D. Scroggins, of Huntsville, was tried in Madison County Circuit Court on September 20, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Scroggins received a total of $2,643 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Scroggins pled guilty to Theft of Property, 4th Degree, and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for two years, and given two years 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.

• Kenyatta Barnes, of Montgomery, was tried in Montgomery County Circuit Court on October 19, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Barnes received a total of $6,376 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Barnes was sentenced to a pre-trial diversion program, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Roosevelt T. Ingram, of Eutaw, was tried in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court on October 1, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Ingram received a total of $25,140 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Ingram pled guilty and was sentenced to three years in jail, which was suspended for three years, and given three years 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.

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

• Daniel J. Smith, of Bay Minette, was tried in Baldwin County Circuit Court on September 25, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Smith received a total of $1,967 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Smith was convicted and sentenced to 31 months in jail, which was suspended for 31 months, and given three years of unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to pay court costs and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Nathan Nolin, of Gadsden, was tried in Etowah County Circuit Court on October 25, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Nolin received a total of $1,188 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Nolin was sentenced to a pre-trial diversion program, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Kenesha Dunklin, of Mobile, was tried in Mobile County Circuit Court on September 17, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Dunklin received a total of $4,385 in benefits to which she was not entitled.

Dunklin pled guilty to Theft of Property, 4th Degree, and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for two years, and given two years of supervised probation. She was also ordered to pay a victim’s assessment fee, court costs, and restitution in the amount of benefits received illegally.

• Mark Hickenbottom, of Mobile, was tried in Mobile County Circuit Court on September 20, 2018. An investigation by Labor’s Benefit Payment Control Section determined that Hickenbottom received a total of $2,120 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Hickenbottom was convicted and sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended for one year, and given two years 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.


“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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