Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton man gets two years in federal prison for ID theft

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A Chesterton man was sentenced last week to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Leon Thomas, 38, was also ordered to pay $25,216 in restitution and to serve one year of supervised release, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

In exchange for Thomas’ plea, two other charges against him--one count of identity theft and one of theft of government property--were dismissed.

In the plea agreement, Thomas stipulated to the following:

“From in or around June 2009, through and including July 2010, while I was employed at a manufacturing company in Michigan City, Indiana, I applied for unemployment insurance benefits and extended unemployment benefits using the identity of my brother,” Thomas stated. “I not only used my brother’s name to work at this company but also used his Social Security number and date of birth. I agree that I did not possess any legal authority to possess and/or use my brother’s identity.”

In addition, Thomas stated, “I unlawfully received unemployment insurance benefit payments that consisted of both federal and state money. When asked on the weekly claim voucher whether I was working, I answered ‘No’ when in truth I was working and receiving a paycheck.”

“I do not dispute that I unlawfully received a total of $11,590 in federal funds as well as $13,626 in state funds for the unemployment benefits I received,” Thomas concluded.

The case was investigated by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General.





Posted 4/8/2013