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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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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

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