ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A Windermere woman is facing felony charges, accused of keeping thousands of dollars in bogus unemployment benefits, all while working at a well-paying job.
Channel 9's Renee Stoll learned it's a crime that's becoming more and more widespread.
For the last three months, Stoll tracked unemployment fraud cases filed at the Orange County
courthouse. Nearly two-dozen cases were filed in just one week.
A two-story, four-bedroom Windermere house, worth over $230,000, belongs to a woman who investigators said was illegally collecting unemployment.
Kim McDaniel-Morgan is facing charges of grand theft and unemployment fraud after instigators learned she made over $65,000 while cashing $11,400 in unemployment checks.
"It's a lot more than I ever made," said David
Robb, who is unemployed.
Robb said he's been searching for a job for the last
four years, and doesn't qualify for unemployment. He said he's even having a hard time even finding a place for his family to live.
"What would $11,000 mean to you?" Stoll asked him.
"A lot," Robb said.
Reports show that McDaniel-Morgan was working as a network engineer earning $23 to $25 an hour, and at the same time, $300 a week in unemployment.
"I'm a taxpayer. If I'm paying taxes I would be giving to a person who truly needs it," said Damian McIntosh.
In just one week, the state found 34 people fraudulently receiving unemployment in Orange County.
Records show they took nearly $210,000 in unemployment benefits, while making a total of $400,000 at their jobs.
shouldn't really be set up in a way that people can so readily and easily take advantage of it," said Alexia Doyle.
In most cases, the person arrested for unemployment fraud has to pay back the entire amount. If they don't, then the government can deduct it from their paychecks.