Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Scott Sanders and Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced a new partnership between the offices Monday to investigate and prosecute individuals accused of fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.
Marion County holds jurisdiction over these cases, which may come from anywhere in the state, because the DWD’s online benefit filing server is located in Indianapolis. Once a case is investigated and substantiated, the prosecutor’s office will file charges against individuals believed to be intentionally falsifying information to receive the UI benefits. The most common charge will be welfare fraud, a Class C felony.
The first of two such cases were filed in criminal court last week. Paris D. Vaughn is accused of receiving an overpayment of more than $42,000 in unemployment compensation benefits to which he wasn’t entitled. He also faces statutory penalties of $28,415. Jordan A. Wardrip is accused of receiving an overpayment of $25,682 and faces statutory penalties of nearly $25,000. Both face one count of Class C felony welfare fraud.