DANVILLE, Va. – A woman was sentenced Tuesday to 4.75 years for her involvement in an insurance fraud scheme, according to the Department of Justice.
47-year-old Paula Lane formerly of Corapeake, N.C. caused a loss of over $150,000 to the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) and similar agencies in Indiana and Pennsylvania.
The VEC provides job training and job placement assistance to veterans of all periods of military service.
Lane pleaded guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft on Sept. 15, 2016.
According to court documents, Lane devised and executed a complex unemployment insurance fraud scheme that resulted in payments of more than $150,000 in a year.
Lane, at the time operating out of her home in Corapeake, created fake companies and reported to the VEC that the companies had employees who earned wages.
The employees were real people whose identities Lane stole for the purpose of the scheme. Between August 2013 and August 2014, Lane filed unemployment claims under the names of 28 different identities stating that they had been laid off.
Lane was then able to receive unemployment insurance money that was deposited directly into her bank account or onto debit cards that she controlled. Lane also filed false claims in Indiana and Pennsylvania.
In addition to the prison sentence, Lane was also ordered to pay $152,449 in restitution to the Virginia Employment Commission.