2 plead guilty to welfare fraud

Two Seymour residents pleaded guilty to welfare fraud Thursday in separate cases involving their collection of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits while they held jobs.

Both Casey N. McCoy, 31, and Billy Eugene Douglas, 41, entered those pleas to the Class C felony charge in Jackson Circuit Court in Brownstown.

McCoy received $16,264 in unemployment benefits on and off between April 30, 2011, and March 17, 2012, while she also was employed at a Seymour factory, according to court records.

Story continues below gallery

In Douglas’ case, the investigation showed he had received $14,799 in unemployment between Dec. 25, 2010, and April 6, 2013, while he worked for a masonry company in Jackson County.

The investigation into McCoy’s case by county Reserve Officer Scott Davis began July 18, 2014, when he received a report from an investigator with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. That’s when he received information about McCoy receiving benefits she was ineligible to receive because she had a job.

Davis, who has a background in investigating welfare fraud with the state, said the investigation showed McCoy received a total of $16,264 in unemployment benefits.

On July 20, 2014, McCoy was interviewed and told police she had once received unemployment benefits but was not sure of the amounts and times, Davis said.

She said her ex-live-in girlfriend had her password and was allowed to go online and fill out her claims. McCoy also said her ex was not responsible for what happened, and she was willing to pay the money back, Davis said. The ex-girlfriend told police she did not know McCoy was even receiving unemployment.

McCoy told police she had moved in with her grandfather at one time during the period when she was collecting unemployment and did not receive any documentation from the state, Davis said.

Her grandfather, however, contradicted her statements when he told police she had in fact received mail from the Department of Workforce Development out of Indianapolis, Davis said.

According to court records, the grandfather told investigators he personally delivered those documents to her.

McCoy, who was arrested and taken to jail the day of the interview, is scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. April 7 in Jackson Circuit Court. A Class C felony is punishable by two to eight years in prison.

Davis said he received a separate report from an investigator with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on July 21, 2014, about Douglas’ case.

The documents the investigator presented showed Douglas had been working when he received unemployment benefits totaling $14,799.

With the penalties assessed by the state, Douglas owed $24,542, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The investigator told Davis she had set up an interview with Douglas in April 2013 at the office in Columbus, but he did not come because he told her he was back to work.

Douglas also told the investigator he agreed to accept responsibility and complete repayment paperwork. However, he never followed up, according to the probable cause affidavit.

On July 23, during a police interview, Davis said Douglas admitted he had drawn unemployment while working. He also said he never received the repayment documents from the investigator, though they were sent to the same address that he had been using to receive unemployment. He was arrested that day.

Douglas’ sentencing hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. April 7.