Chesterton Tribune

Liberty Township man charged with welfare fraud

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A Liberty Township resident was booked into the Porter County Jail on May 10 on a charge of welfare fraud, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

Joseph Matthew Lajeunesse, 56, of 676 N Calumet Ave., was arrested on that charge at 7:04 p.m. by Valparaiso Police, the PCSP said.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Gayle Painter, an investigator with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, during different times in 2009 and 2010 Lajeunesse filed for unemployment benefits while he was at the same time employed by a roofing company.

Payroll records indicated that Lajeunesse “received paychecks for 39 weeks in which he claimed and requested unemployment benefits,” Painter stated in her affidavit.

“In total Lajeunesse received $15,004 in fraudulently obtained benefits,” Painter said. “Penalties applied to said amount total $10,198.25.”

Lajeunesse “admitted that he did work and then claim benefits for the same weeks,” Painter stated. “He stated it was due to greed and that he had been earning approximately $35,000 a year but it went down to approximately $20,000 a year and he needed the money.”

Welfare fraud is a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years.



Posted 5/15/2012