Maryland unemployment fraudsters sentenced to nine years

Montgomery [County MD] Gazette, February 1, 2013:

A D.C. man who ran a theft and credit card scam and other fraud schemes from his Rockville business, was sentenced in federal court in Maryland to nine years in prison Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Ellen L Hollander also sentenced Amiee Arora, 32, of Washington, D.C., to pay restitution of $161,782.23 to the State of Maryland for fraudulent unemployment benefits that Arora and his co-conspirators obtained through the scheme, and an additional $41,209.82 to a merchant they defrauded in the credit card scheme.

The article goes on to discuss how Arora and his co-defendant Vivek Jain forwarded UI debit cards to a P.O. Box, and how Georgia police recovered 42 such UI debit cards in Jain’s car.

Federal jurisdiction would appear to apply due to the interstate nature of the fraud, the use of the mails and the federal funding of unemployment benefits in part.

As an unemployment insurance litigator (who stepped aside from a Circuit Court petition for judicial review of a UI decision to write this post), I am quite pleased to see fraudsters “get theirs.” It’s hard enough for honest workers to prevail within the law; workers who lie to obtain their own benefits are a plague on the honest ones as well as honest employers who pay the premiums, and make UI benefits both more expensive to management and less generous to workers than they would be (without factoring enforcement costs). But these gentlemen admitted to committing identity fraud in addition to unemployment fraud. Enjoy your time as the taxpayers’ long-term guests, gentlemen.

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