Brownstown Township market targeted in unemployment fraud scheme

Employees receive letters saying they applied for benefits

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BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A Brownstown Township store got stuck in an unemployment benefit scheme when employees started receiving letters about benefits they never applied for.

Business owners pay into a fund in order for employees to receive benefits, and The Market Fresh grocery market had just finished paying money back after a fire 10 years ago forced all 15 employees to go on unemployment.

The family-owned market feared its rates would skyrocket after it discovered unemployment claims made in employees' names.

Nicole Ochab received the first notice around the holidays.

"I laughed because I've never filed for unemployment. I've worked nonstop since I was 14," Nicole Ochab said.

Then, her brother-in-law and market co-owner Stan Ochab got a letter stating he applied for unemployment benefits.

"The first thing that was going through my mind was fraud," he said.

It was discovered that benefits had been filed for but none of them were paid.

"I can breathe a little bit now, better than it has been for the past month or so because it's been ridiculous," Stan Ochab said.

You can view more information in the documents below.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.