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Man sentenced for stealing unemployment benefits | News

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Man sentenced for stealing unemployment benefits
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COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- A Cobb County man will spend a year in prison for stealing unemployment benefits while he had a full-time job.

Paul Drayton, 46, was convicted last week of violating Georgia's Employment Security Law. A Cobb County judge sentenced him to five years with one to serve. He must also pay restitution of more than $14,000.

Drayton received unemployment funds in 2011 and 2012, despite having a job that paid $70,000. Prosecutors said he took the money so he could afford in live in the Walton High School district in east Cobb County. Drayton told the court he believed living in the Walton school zone would be best for his children.

"This defendant stole from a fund for people in need, not to put food on the table but to maintain a lifestyle to which he had become accustomed," Cobb County ADA Theresa Schiefer said in court.

Judge Henry Thompson agreed, telling Drayton, "Unemployment insurance is an emergency fund, not a piggy bank to be pilfered to support an east Cobb lifestyle."

Drayton took nearly $13,000 in unemployment benefits. With penalties and interest, the amount owed is more than $19,000.

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