Attorney General Laxalt Announces Guilty Plea of man for Obtaining Unemployment Insurance Benefits While Incarcerated

February 23, 2016

Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Jesse Michael Whitlock, 38, of Ohio, pleaded guilty to theft, a category “B” felony, for his role in fraudulently obtaining unemployment insurance benefits. The theft occurred between December 2010 and August 2011, while Whitlock was incarcerated for crimes previously

    “Convicts seeking to receive unemployment benefits while behind bars will not succeed in their attempts to defraud the state and its taxpayers,” said Laxalt. “My Office will continue to collaborate with other agencies to identify, investigate and prosecute suspected fraud in order to protect legitimate claimants, employers and the integrity of these assistance programs.”

      Despite his ineligibility for unemployment insurance benefits, Whitlock continued to obtain state assistance with the aid of co-defendant Nedine Renee Christunas. During Whitlock’s incarceration, Christunas fraudulently filed claims for unemployment insurance benefits on behalf of Whitlock. She would then withdraw the state assistance from Whitlock’s state-issued account, and use the funds to pay for his expenses as well as her own.

        As part of his plea, Whitlock agreed to pay full restitution of more than $13,000 to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. He is set to be sentenced in the Eighth Judicial District Court in June 2016. A warrant for the arrest of Christunas is outstanding, and she remains at large.

          The investigation of this case was a joint effort of investigators from the Nevada Attorney General’s Office and the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. The Henderson Detention Center and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction also assisted with the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Roger R. Madsen.

            To file a complaint about someone suspected of committing fraud, click here. To view Whitlock’s criminal Information, click here.



              (Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)