A Casper man will avoid prison time after admitting that he was collecting unemployment checks, when he was employed.

Joshua Fowler was given first time offender's status, along with one year of probation, after he pleaded guilty to one charge of obtaining benefits by fraud.

Investigators with the State of Wyoming Special Investigations Unit say in March 2009, Fowler was laid off from his job and shortly afterwards, he started collecting unemployment checks.

In October 2009, a cross match audit showed that Fowler got a new job in May of that year, and there was a nearly $5,700 difference in the amount of money that Fowler said he earned, and what his new employer was actually paying him.

The Department of Workforce Services tried numerous times to contact Fowler at his then Cheyenne address, about the discrepancy and penalties, but were never successful.

The SIU eventually got involved and investigators found Fowler in December 2014, working in Mills.

When interviewed he admitted to under-reporting how much he had earned, when he got his new job at the time.

Fowler has paid restitution in full (about $6,100), and must also perform 40 hours of community service.