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Judges uphold penalties against man for falsifying unemployment benefit documents

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There is sufficient evidence to support the decision that a man must pay back unemployment benefits he used while working and that the man falsified information in order to receive those benefits, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.

In Shawn Telligman v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Indiana Department of Workforce Development Unemployment Insurance Claims Adjudication, 93A02-1304-EX-303, Shawn Telligman appealed the decision of the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that he lied about his employment status in order to obtain unemployment benefits. Telligman submitted his first claim for benefits in October 2009; subsequent claims were filed in May 2010 and October 2010 by Telligman’s then-wife, to whom he shared his user ID and password. His now ex-wife had access to the debit card that contained the benefits except for the period when she was incarcerated.  

An administrative law judge concluded Telligman knowingly failed to disclose that he was working during the time he applied for the benefits or falsified information in order to obtain the benefits. Penalties were assessed against Telligman for the three instances – 25 percent on the first claim; 50 percent for the second claim; and 100 percent for the third claim made.

Telligman appealed, wanting to introduce additional evidence to show that his wife controlled the card and he didn’t know she continued to submit claims. The COA rejected his argument that the May 2010 and October 2010 claims should be treated as one instance instead of two under I.C. 22-4-13-1.1. “Instance” under the statute means each time a new claim for benefits is opened.

The COA affirmed the findings, noting that Telligman was placed on notice when he filed his claim that he was responsible for submitting accurate information and reporting any other wages earned. The user agreement to apply for the benefits also warned to keep user names and passwords confidential.

The judges also pointed out the additional information Telligman wanted to present to the board was available prior to the hearing before the ALJ and there’s no telling if the board would have accepted and credited the evidence in the same way Telligman does.  
 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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