Cuero women receive prison sentences for mail fraud case

Dec. 5, 2011 at 6:05 a.m.

Two Cuero women were sentenced on Monday to federal prison for defrauding the Unemployment Insurance Program.

In September, Andrea Mims, 48, and Lea Ann Battles, 44, pleaded guilty to filing numerous fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.

At a sentencing hearing before Senior United States District Judge John D. Rainey, Mims was sentenced to 21 months in prison , while Battles received a 27-month sentence, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office press release.

Both women will be required to serve a three-year-term of supervised release following completion of their prison term.

Mims was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $110,400, while Battles will pay $96,222.

Between October 2009 and June, about $96,222 in unemployment insurance benefits were paid to the women as a result of the scheme, according to the news release.

All of the claims named fictitious employers and were filed using the names and Social Security numbers of other people, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office news release.

As a result of the claims, debit cards were sent through the mail to Mims and Battles.

Additional fraudulent claims filed by Mims in her own name resulted in another $14,178 in fraudulent unemployment insurance benefit payments to Mims.

Andrea Mims' husband, Frederick Mims, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a related unemployment insurance fraud scheme on Aug. 1 and was sentenced to six months in federal custody followed by three years of supervised release for his part in that scheme.

Frederick Mims also was ordered to pay $25,317 in restitution.

Andrea Mims and Battles will remain in custody pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The case was investigated by agents from the United States Department of Labor, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Cuero Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. Thorpe prosecuted the case.



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