Department of Workforce Development Achieves Fraud Conviction for Reporting of Falsified Wages

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Department of Workforce Development Achieves Fraud Conviction for Reporting of Falsified Wages

Bobby Polen found guilty of felony Welfare Fraud for
false self-employment


INDIANAPOLIS (September 20, 2017) — Bobby Polen of Indianapolis was recently found guilty of felony Welfare Fraud after it was discovered by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) that he had fraudulently claimed unemployment insurance benefits for more than three and a half years. Pollen served 58 days in jail, was placed on probation for an additional 833 days, and was ordered to pay restitution to DWD in the amount of $9,278.

DWD first became aware of the possible improper claiming of benefits by Polen in July 2015 when it was discovered that he appeared to be the owner of the business paying his benefits. When questioned, he stated that Alan Walden was the owner of the business, which was known as Movie Mania, but the social security number he gave for Walden was the same as his own. 

Polen did not cooperate with the investigation to provide records as requested. Subsequent to this investigation, an employee of DWD’s Tax Administration Division noticed that the individual identifying himself as Walden, the business owner, and also as Polen, the benefits recipient, appeared to have the same voice during telephone conversations with the Division. It was found that Polen, as the employer, was attempting to add fraudulent wages to his claim so that he could receive a larger amount of weekly benefits.

By submitting fraudulent wages for quarters he was not actually working, Polen was able to receive benefits he would not have otherwise been able to obtain. Polen claimed and was paid benefits during the period November 17, 2012, to April 11, 2016, based on the fraudulent wages.

“Mr. Polen’s fraudulent behavior was detected by DWD’s highly-trained investigators,” said Kate Shelby, DWD Director of Unemployment Insurance Operations. “Mr. Polen must now live with the consequences of his crimes – a felony conviction, jail time and an order to pay back money he stole from the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

Due to a lack of cooperation in providing the proper documentation requested, Polen’s case was turned over to the Indiana State Police, which developed information that alleged Polen had engaged in acts of fraud. In an interview with the State Police, Polen admitted to the fraud. It was determined that during the period of February 2012 through October 2016, Polen submitted documents to DWD that said he was employed by Movie Mania, d/b/a ABC. Evidence also showed the business was dissolved from DWD records in June 2015 after a long period of inactivity.

“We’re very pleased with the results of this case,” said Betty Titus, Chief, UI Compliance for DWD. “We hope the success of this case and others like it provide a deterrent to individuals who may be thinking about purposely committing fraud. These types of results make our unemployment insurance program stronger for the thousands of Hoosiers who honestly and accurately report wages.”


About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development

DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.

For additional information, contact:

Dave Shatkowski, 317-234-7671,

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