COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Former Ohio employees are facing federal charges, accused of organizing a scheme to steal more than $9 million in state unemployment funds.
Tiffany Wilson, a former Ohio Department of Job and Family Services subcontractor, has been indicted on 21 counts for leading a scheme that defrauded the state’s unemployment system of more than $5 million between November 2020 and June 2021, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack. Erin McGoy, Lataska Minor, Nicy Minor, Aja Minor and Sherrod Thompson are also indicted in the case.
“These white-collar criminals were cheating the system, stealing millions of dollars from a
program that was established to help honest, hardworking Ohioans, people who really needed
these unemployment funds during the pandemic,” said Anthony Pierson, deputy chief
prosecuting attorney for Franklin County.
After she was fired from her position, Wilson managed to access the computer system used to file Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims, Tyack said. She then altered multiple claims by changing and deleting information, some of it on behalf of the others included in the indictment, he said.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services noticed the irregular access to its system and reported it to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which led an investigation.
Alana Hamilton, also a former Ohio Department of Job and Family Services employee, has been indicted on 19 counts for leading a scheme that defrauded Ohio’s unemployment system of more than $4 million from May 2020 to October 2021, Tyack said. Lasheta McClellan is also indicted in the case.
Like Wilson, Hamilton and McClellan allegedly altered multiple Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims and are accused of using false information to file the claims. After noticing the suspicious activity, the department reported the issue to the Ohio Inspector General’s Office, which began an investigation.