News & Resources

North Carolina woman uses mother's name to gain benefits

Aug 27, 2011 Brian Bradley

Tana Lavon Smith of Lincolnton, North Carolina, was arrested today after it was learned she provided the state unemployment office with false identity verification to receive benefits, WBTV-TV reports. Smith used her mother's name, Frances Smyre, to collect benefits between January 9 and April 3. Smyre became aware of the fraudulent activity after she was notified by the Employment Security Commission Office, where she been applying for disability. According to the Lincoln Tribune, Smith used her mother's identity to collect more than $1,500 in benefits. She also used Smyre's debit card at ATMs across the city. Smith is being held on $9,500 bail at the Haven A. Crouse Detention Center. She faces 14 felony counts of fraud identity theft and 13 felony counts of obtaining property by false Pretenses. The Shelby Star recently reported a similar story of a woman from Bessemer City who committed unemployment fraud while working at a temp agency. Betty L. Byers was charged with six counts of misrepresentation after failing to report more than $1,500 in earnings to the ESC between July and September of 2002.