Unemployment benefits fraudster sentenced to 48 months in prison
POSTED: Friday, February 1, 2013 - 1:15pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 1, 2013 - 1:19pm
BATON ROUGE, LA — United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr., announced that Wayne A. Leeper, III, 44, of Metairie, was sentenced on Thursday, Jan. 31, by United States District Court Judge James J. Brady to 48 months of imprisonment. He was also ordered to repay the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) $96,966 in restitution.
Leeper had previously pled guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. While employed as an operations manager with a dental supply company from approximately November 2009 until May 2010, Leeper fraudulently obtained the personal identifying information of numerous co-workers and applied for Louisiana Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits in their names. As office manager, he enjoyed access to employee’s personnel files, which included information such as their date of birth and social security numbers. Leeper also obtained the personal identifying information of unwitting friends and family members and applied for UI benefits in their names.
Leeper executed his scheme to defraud by supplementing their unlawfully obtained identifiers with fictitious information regarding their place of employment and address. The addresses listed for these individuals, and for the most part, their employers, were addresses controlled by Leeper or vacant addresses. UI funds would be wired to a debit card account created by Chase. Leeper would have the debit card sent to an address controlled by him. Leeper would then use the funds obtained, including making numerous cash withdrawals at automatic teller machines, and using the cards at retail establishments for his own personal benefit. In total, Leeper submitted approximately $102,219 in unemployment insurance claims to the LWC.
This investigation was conducted by United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shubhra Shivpuri.