A Casper man who falsified wage reports to obtain unemployment benefits by fraud was ordered to pay restitution, serve probation and perform 50 hours of community service.

David Pepple heard the sentence handed down by District Court Judge Catherine Wilking on Thursday.

Because he had no criminal history according to the pre-sentence investigation, Wilking said Pepple qualified for first-time offender status. If he completes his probation term and pays restitution, the guilty conviction will be cleared from his record.

Wilking sentenced him to one to five years probation, ordered him to pay court costs and fees, ordered him to perform 50 hours of community service, and ordered him to pay $11,023 in restitution and penalties.

Pepple told the judge it always has been his intention to pay what he owes.

The case started in September 2008 when he was granted unemployment insurance benefits.

But a May 2009 audit showed a discrepancy in the amount of money he was earning with his new job and how much he was actually reporting, according to an investigation by the Wyoming Department's Unemployment Insurance.

The audit showed he owed the division more than $6,500 in over-payments beginning in December 2008.

The division contacted Pepple, who said he misunderstood what full-time employment was and hoped to resolve the issue. But the division never heard from him again.

The division added $4,400 plus in penalties to the amount he owed.

In October 2015, Pepple pleaded guilty, and was released on $15,000 bond.

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