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Eastern Idaho Woman on Probation for Unemployment Benefit Fraud
Idaho Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) - An eastern Idaho woman received a four-year probation sentence on Wednesday after being convicted of fraudulently obtaining over $9,300 in unemployment insurance benefits for her boyfriend while he was in prison.
Nicole Meta Fraser-Felton, 51, of Idaho Falls, was also ordered to repay the benefits plus $1,000 in fines and perform 250 hours of community service over the next two years.
Seventh District Judge Darren B. Simpson imposed the probation after suspending a five-year prison term so Fraser-Felton could continue participating in the drug court program, where Simpson said she has been successful.
Prior to her unemployment insurance fraud conviction, Fraser-Felton had been convicted of conspiracy in a drug case and was sentenced to the drug court program.
Fraser-Felton fraudulently obtained the unemployment benefits between September 2010 and April 2011 while her boyfriend, Eric Mayfield, was in the state prison serving a sentence on a drug conviction.
Should she fail to successfully complete her probation on the fraud charge, Fraser-Felton could be imprisoned for at least two and up to five years.
The Idaho Department of Labor discovered the fraud when its investigators checked with Mayfield’s former employer and were told he was in prison. The subsequent investigation identified Fraser-Felton as the person who filed for the benefits in Mayfield’s name. Mayfield denied authorizing Fraser-Felton to file for benefits on his behalf.