For Immediate Release - December 02, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Announces Guilty Plea and Sentence of a Mattapan Man for Collecting Over $11,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON - Today, a Mattapan man pled guilty in Suffolk Superior Court on charges he schemed to collect over $11,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work. Pierre Jeannot, age 34, pled guilty to charges of Unemployment Fraud (20 counts), and Larceny Over $250. Following the change of plea, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced Jeannot to three years probation and ordered him to pay $11,104 in restitution.

Jeannot applied for unemployment benefits from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) in June 2007 while separated from his employer and began receiving benefits from June 2007 through December 2007. During this time, Jeannot was working full-time as a driver for a passenger transportation company and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.

For each of the 20 weeks that Jeannot collected unemployment benefits from June 2007 through December 2007, he notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, but that he was able to work and was available for work. The fraudulent activities were initially detected by investigators from the EOLWD\DUA. Jeannot collected fraudulent benefits totaling $11,104 while working and collecting. During the relevant time period, Jeannot earned over $66,000 from his place of employment.

Indictments were returned against Jeannot on July 30, 2009. Jeannot was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on September 11, 2009, at which time he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Today, Johnson entered a change of plea to guilty and was sentenced in Suffolk Superior Court.

To report unemployment fraud to the EOLWD\DUA, call the agency's toll free fraud hotline at 1-800-354-9927 anytime, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous.

Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Cotter of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division prosecuted this case with assistance from investigator Scott Gisetto of the Attorney General's Office and Mark St. Onge of EOLWD\DUA.