WARSAW — A Warsaw man was sentenced on a charge of welfare fraud yesterday, Jan. 4, in Kosciusko Superior Court I and is potentially facing a hefty repayment.
Leroy Konkle, 67, 3750 Lake City Highway, Warsaw, was charged with welfare fraud, a level C felony, after collecting unemployment while employed.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Nov. 9, 2008, Konkle applied for unemployment compensation benefits in Warsaw after being laid off from a job. He began receiving benefits of $390 a week, beginning Nov. 22, 2008. He continued to file for and receive weekly benefits through the week ending Dec. 28, 2013.
In order to receive the benefits, Konkle was required to submit vouchers to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on a weekly basis that certified he was unemployed and received no earnings during the weeks he claimed benefits.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on March 26, 2015, an investigator with the DWD found that Konkle had received weekly earnings from Eagle Transport Group LLC and Foodliner Inc. during the time he had been collecting unemployment benefits. Konkle did not report his employment and earnings from his employers to the DWD. He falsely informed the Indiana DWD that he was unemployed from Nov. 6, 2010, through Dec. 28, 2013.
The affidavit of probable cause states that, in total, Konkle received an overpayment of $31,451 in unemployment compensation.
Before the court, the state announced that restitution was being asked for in the amount of $61,267, covering the fraud and penalties, and a hearing was set for 10 a.m., Feb. 20.
Judge David Cates then handed Konkle a suspended sentence of four years. Terms of probation require Konkle to remain employed. When Konkle’s attorney Elden Stoops brought forward the fact that Konkle was retired, Judge Cates made it clear he is to find a way to pay back what is owed.