Unemployment fraud in Pickens County

A Pickens County woman is one of three South Carolinians who pleaded guilty and were sentenced for making a false statement or misrepresentation with the intent to defraud the Department of Employment and Workforce. Thomasina Hicks, 29-year old Central resident, received unemployment benefits between 2009 and 2011 based on her weekly certifications that she was totally unemployed and earning no wages. According to an announcement by Attorney General Alan Wilson and the DEW, an investigation revealed Hicks had been gainfully employed during the time and intentionally falsified information about her employment in an effort to defraud the state. She was sentenced to three years in prison. The prison sentence was suspended and Hicks was placed on probation for five years and ordered to repay DEW more than $13 thousand in restitution.  She was also ordered to pay a $1,500 civil penalty to the state.  You may report suspected unemployment insurance fraud by calling 1-800/868-1488.  Callers may remain anonymous.