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Ex-state employee accused of stealing thousands in unemployment benefits

Tina Trotter charged with theft, perjury and official misconduct
A former employee of the Indiana Department of Workforce (DWD) is criminally charged with five felonies amid allegations she and her husband received thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits they were not entitled to.
Posted at 12:47 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 09:53:26-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A former employee of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is criminally charged with five felonies amid allegations she and her husband received thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits they were not entitled to.

Marion County prosecutors charged Tina Trotter with including theft, perjury, and official misconduct on December 20, 2022.

A warrant has been issued for Trotter’s arrest, but she has not yet been arrested, court records show.

The warrant was recalled on January 4. Her initial hearing is scheduled for February 1.

Trotter was hired on July 27, 2020, as a program specialist with DWD and her primary duty was to assist claimants with applying for UI benefits.

Unemployment Insurance is a program funded by employer contributions that pays benefits to workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own.

DWD fired Trotter on September 17, 2021 for employee misconduct, records show.

From August 1, 2020 to December 26, 2020, Trotter submitted 22 weekly unemployment vouchers to DWD while employed by DWD to obtain UI benefits to which she was not entitled.

Trotter received $10,380 in payments she was not entitled to receive, prosecutors allege.

Trotter also obtained $12,518 in benefits for her husband, records show.

When Trotter’s husband applied for UI benefits, he indicated it was due to COVID-19, however the husband’s employer said his separation was for attendance issues, not COVID-19.

Prosecutors say Trotter gained unauthorized access to her husband’s account and reassigned the claim to herself.

WRTV Investigates found out about this case while looking through the Indiana Office of Inspector General reports.

Trotter told the Office of Inspector General she planned to reimburse the state.

Trotter reached a repayment agreement in January 2022 in which she agreed to pay $325 monthly for a total of $19,362.

However, Trotter has only repaid $550, records show, and an additional $481.06 from collection efforts.

The matter has been referred to the Indiana Attorney General’s office for collection, the report says.

However, the the Attorney General's office has not received a collection request from DWD on this case, a spokesperson told WRTV.

WRTV Investigates is working on getting a statement from Trotter.

No attorney is listed for her in court records.

WRTV has contacted DWD for comment, and a spokesperson referred us to the state personnel department.

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