Colorado woman sentenced for stealing $35K in unemployment benefits

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Posted at 3:23 PM, Jan 25, 2023

DENVER — A Colorado parolee convicted of stealing more than $35,000 in unemployment benefits was sentenced to prison in an Arapahoe County courtroom Wednesday.

Dawn Marie Jones, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of cybercrime theft and filing a false tax return and was sentenced to eight years in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Jones fraudulently obtained $35,761 in unemployment benefits from the state’s unemployment assistance program from May 2020 through September 2021, according to a news release from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

Jones was incarcerated when she filed for unemployment benefits, Weiser said. She reported that she was an insurance sales agent and a gig worker and was unable to provide professional services due to the pandemic, but her license to sell insurance had been revoked.

“With this action, we continue to hold to account those who defrauded the state’s unemployment insurance system. The task force has increased coordination between state and federal partners, and ongoing collaboration will allow state investigators to work directly with prosecutors around the state to investigate and prosecute these complex cases,” Weiser said in a statement.

When the pandemic unemployment assistance program ended, Jones filed for standard unemployment. Since she earned more than her weekly benefit amount each week she was employed, she was ineligible to receive benefits for those weeks, according to the news release.

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