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Ex-DCPS employee receives jail time for unemployment fraud

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Local,Education,Lisa Gartner

A former DC Public Schools employee will go to jail for 45 days for collecting unemployment benefits while on the city's payroll.

Bettye Felder-Lightfoot, hired by the school system in 2007 as an educational aide, also will have to pay $27,200 in restitution and serve five years of probation for defrauding the D.C. Department of Employment Services. She was also hit with three years of supervised release, though the D.C. Superior Court judge suspended that sentence.

Felder-Lightfoot was among 130 city employees accused of employment fraud in February after an investigation by the city's and the U.S. Department of Labor's inspectors general wrapped up. In July, an employee for the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs was sentenced to five years of probation, as well as $18,341 in restitution. More than a dozen other such cases are in the works.

Authorities say Felder-Lightfoot fraudulently received $27,200 in unemployment insurance compensation benefits between July 2009 and April 2011, despite being employed at the time. She pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree fraud on May 21.

lgartner@washingtonexaminer.com

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