Five South Carolina postal workers charged with unemployment benefit fraud

Columbia, SC—–United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced the indictment of five additional United States Postal Service employees. Mr. Nettles added that these indictments follow five indictments from the Florence area and are part of an ongoing sweep targeting fraud by Postal workers in claiming unemployment benefits.

Lisa Hawkins, age 46, of Eutawville, Felecia Mack, age 35, of Bowman, Emma Talford, age 42, of Blackstock, Eulinda Willis, age 39, of Bowman, and Kimberly Watkins, age 40, of Vance were each charged with two counts of theft from the United States government, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641 and false statement on an application for unemployment insurance benefits, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1919. The maximum penalty each could receive is 10 years imprisonment.

“These indictments represent a collaborative effort between the South Carolina Employment Securities Commission, the Department of Labor Inspector General, and the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG),” according to Joanne Yarbrough, Special Agent in Charge of the OIG’s regional office. “The Postal Service prides itself in its dedicated and professional employees and their ability to provide the service our customers have come to expect. The employees identified today are a very small percentage of the thousands of South Carolina postal workers entrusted with processing and delivering the public’s letters and parcels every day.”

Mr. Nettles stated that the charges in these Indictments are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.