CROWN POINT | Prosecutors have charged a Lowell man with welfare fraud, alleging the man continued to receive jobless benefits even though he was back to work.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed Friday, investigators with the Indiana Department of Worforce Development discovered Christopher Babbitt Jr. received $49,916 in overpayment of unemployment compensation benefits, incurring $37,017 in penalties for a total of $86,133.
Babbitt had filed for unemployment compensation in July 2009, reporting he had been laid off from his job, the affidavit states. He subsequently received weekly benefits of $390 off and on through January 2012.
In February 2012, Workforce Development Investigator Gayle Painter inspected payroll records at a construction business where Babbitt's earnings were shown as averaging in excess of $1,000 per week, the affidavit states.
On Friday, Babbitt was charged with welfare fraud, a felony, for allegedly falsely reporting he was unemployed while in fact drawing wages.
If convicted, Babbitt faces a sentence of between two and eight years in prison.