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2. S.C. men plead guilty to unemployment insurance fraud

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Staff Report
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 17, 2015

Two men have pleaded guilty to charges related to unemployment insurance fraud, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce and the S.C. Attorney General’s office.

Both Thomas Lewis, of Lake View in Dillon County, and Christopher Britton, of Pawley’s Island, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement or misrepresentation with the intent to defraud DEW, a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison, the DEW reported.

Lewis, 30, received unemployment benefits between January 2009 and April 2010 based on his weekly certifications that he was totally unemployed and earning no wages, DEW said. However, an investigation found that he had been employed during this time and “intentionally falsified information about his employment in an effort to defraud the state,” DEW said.

Lewis received a two-year prison sentence, which was suspended. He was placed on probation for two years and ordered to repay the state agency more than $15,000, and pay a $2,400 civil penalty to the state.

Britton received unemployment benefits between March and October in 2010 based on his weekly certifications that he was totally unemployed and earning no wages, DEW said. Investigators, though, found that he had been employed and intentionally falsified information about his employment in an effort to defraud the state, DEW said.

Britton received a sentenced of two years in prison, which was suspended. He was placed on probation for three years and ordered to repay DEW more than $7,500. He also was ordered to pay a $1,500 civil penalty to the state.

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