For Immediate Release - October 14, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley Announces the Arraignment of a Falmouth Man for Allegedly Collecting More Than $26,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON - Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley announces the arraignment of a Falmouth man on charges he schemed to collect over $26,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work. Paul DiMestico, age 39, was charged with Unemployment Fraud (47 counts), and Larceny Over $250.

According to authorities, DiMestico applied for unemployment benefits from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) in February 2008 and began receiving benefits from February 2008 through January 2009. During this time, DiMestico was allegedly working full-time as a recovery aide at an addiction treatment center, and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.

For each of the 47 weeks that DiMestico collected unemployment benefits between the months of February 2008 through January 2009, he allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, but that he was able to work and was available for work. The alleged fraudulent activities were initially detected by investigators from the EOLWD\DUA. Authorities allege DiMestico collected fraudulent benefits totaling $26,542 while working and collecting. During the relevant time period, DiMestico allegedly earned over $28,000 from his place of employment.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against DiMestico on September 24, 2009. Today, DiMestico was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court at which time he entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. DiMestico is due back in court on December 7, 2009, for a pre-trial conference. Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson presided over the arraignment.

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.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant Attorney General Joshua Pakstis of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators from the Attorney General's Office and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.