FRAUD, Burden of proof
CITE AS: Sanders v MESC, Wayne Circuit Court No. 287-132 (April 30, 1957).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Early Sanders
Employer: Chrysler Corporation
Docket No. B56-769-18197
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: The burden of establishing fraud by competent evidence rests with the MESC.
FACTS: The claimant received a telegram on Thursday to return to work that same day. Also that day he reported to an office of the Commission and obtained a benefit check for the previous week. The following week he again reported to the Commission and certified for benefits for the prior week despite having returned to work for part of that week.
DECISION: The finding of claimant fraud was upheld.
RATIONALE: The Commission's agent testified the claimant was asked about his earnings in the week in question. She said she did not require the claimant to fill in the day of the week and it is conceivable that had she so required, the claimant would have changed his entries. But that is conjecture. The fact remains that the dates the claimant entered were wrong and that he had returned to work on the day he had received his previous benefit check.
The burden should be upon the Commission to establish that fraud was committed, and fraud should not be presumed but established by competent proof that persuades one that a proper inference may be drawn. For it must be conceded that the Commission could not be expected to secure an admission by a claimant that he had committed a fraud. So, to prove an intent to defraud an inference must be drawn from the facts themselves.