PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation is continuing to look into fraudulent unemployment insurance claims and so far this year, at least 11 people have pled guilty and been convicted of unemployment insurance benefit fraud across the state. State Labor and Regulation Secretary Pam Roberts says the integrity of the unemployment fund in the state is important to its solvency and to make sure it’s available for people who are legitimate benefit recipients. Those who make claims for unemployment benefits must be unemployed, able to work, looking for new work and cannot refuse suitable work when it is offered. Cases that have been convicted in the state so far this year have been reported in Minnehaha, Union, Brown and Pennington counties. In Hughes County, Jacob Kainz was ordered to repay $3,006 in restitution, $600 in court and fine costs and attorney fees. He was given 90 days in jail with 60 days suspended and will be on probation for two years. Roberts says most fraudulent unemployment claims result from people who fail to indicate that they returned to work and did not report their earned wages while they collected benefits. Those who have tips on potential fraud should contact the Division of Unemployment Insurance Benefit Payment Control Unit at 605-626-7649.
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