18. Restitution, Waiver, Fraud

Miltgen v DSC Marywood Co – 18.14

Miltgen v DSC Marywood Co
Digest no. 18.14

Section 54(b)

Cite as: Miltgen v DSC Marywood Co, unpublished opinion of the Kent Circuit Court, issued March 23, 2001 (Docket No. 00-06060-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Georgia Miltgen
Employer: DSC Marywood Company
Docket no.: B95-06582-RRR-145902W/FSC95-00107-RRR-145903W
Date of decision: March 23, 2001

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Being told by an Agency representative that monies received as “gifts” do not have to be reported as income is not a defense to fraud when claimant failed to disclose “significant particulars” as to the receipt of that money.

FACTS: While receiving unemployment benefits, claimant performed services and was being compensated. Claimant knew she was obligated to report income from work to the Agency, but failed to do so. Claimant spoke to a representative of the Agency about whether she had to report the monies. She asked whether personal monies from a friend had to be reported; she did not report the reasons for receiving the monies or why she received the monies. Claimant claimed the monies she received were “gifts,” although she acknowledged the payments were at an hourly rate for the service she performed.

DECISION: Claimant knowingly and willfully failed to report the income and is subject to the fraud provision.

RATIONALE: Even if the payor told claimant that the monies were gifts, it was unreasonable for her to believe that she was receiving gifts, and not being paid for services rendered. “A purely subjective belief is not legally significant; the belief must also be objectively reasonable. A gift which happens to be in an amount which is a certain rate for actual hours of effort performed for the payor is compensation for work, not a gift . . .. [L]abels are of ‘little importance.’” See Allied Market v Grocer’s Dairy, 391 Mich 729, 735 (1974)Abbey Homes v Wilcox, 89 Mich App 574, 581 (1979), lv app den 407 Mich 875 (1979). Had claimant disclosed the nature of the particulars of the monies, being told that the monies did not need to be reported would probably have entitled her to act as she did, Woods v State Employees Retirement System, 440 Mich 77, 81-82 (1992). Since claimant admitted she did not provide those particulars, the answer she said she got does not provide her with a defense. United States v King, 560 F2d 122 (1977), and United States v Smith, 523 F2d 771 (1975).

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:

18. Restitution, Waiver, Fraud

Sallmen v Danti Tool & Die, Inc – 18.10

Sallmen v Danti Tool & Die, Inc
Digest no. 18.10

Section 62(b)

Cite as: Sallmen v Danti Tool & Die, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Saginaw Circuit Court, issued September 8, 1986 (Docket No. 86-23988-AR-3).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Ermin Sallmen
Employer: Danti Tool & Die, Inc.
Docket no.: B85 09103 100921W
Date of decision: September 8, 1996

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Any and all earnings regardless of how small must be reported to the Commission when certifying for benefits.

FACTS: After becoming unemployed the claimant began to perform part time services for another employer. The services consisted of the claimant’s participating in a sales training program. During this program the claimant received $90.00 per week against future commissions.

Although earning $90.00 per week, the claimant failed to disclose these earnings to the Commission when he certified for his weekly benefits. The claimant indicated he failed to do so because a Commission clerk had advised him that if he earned less than half of his weekly benefit rate he would still be entitled to his full weekly benefits. Therefore, he did not think it necessary to disclose he was working and earning $90.00 per week since that was less than half of his benefit rate.

DECISION: Board decision modified. Claimant must pay restitution, but intentional misrepresentation not established. No fraud penalty.

RATIONALE: It was clear that the claimant had accepted and performed services for the new employer for remuneration and therefore had earnings within the meaning of Section 48(1) of the MES Act.

The claimant had a legal duty to disclose to the Commission that he was working and receiving pay from another employer regardless of the impact on his benefit rate.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: