TX Unemployment Leads to More Requests, Arrests

By: Joe Brown Email
By: Joe Brown Email

As the unemployment rate rises in Texas, the state is having a hard time paying jobless benefits.

A state official said Wednesday that Texas will likely borrow $1.5 billion from the federal government to pay benefits through December.

And as more Texans sign up for unemployment, more are abusing the system and getting caught. In the first half of this year, those convicted of unemployment insurance fraud have been ordered to pay more than $460,000 in restitution. Some of are also serving jail time.

In Brazos County, there's been a couple of convictions over the last 12 months. Michael Avery, 40, was sentenced in February to jail time, $4,500 in restitution and a $1,000 fine after being convicted of illegally accepting unemployment. Michael Bartos, III, 60, must repay more than $10,000 along with a $5,000 fine after pleading guilty to fraud in December.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the most common examples of fraud include giving false information and failure to report self-employment or other earnings while receiving benefits.

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