For Immediate Release - October 07, 2010

Chicopee Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Collecting More Than $15,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON - A Chicopee woman pled guilty in Suffolk Superior Court in connection with collecting over $15,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced.

Felicia Moseley, age 33, pled guilty to charges of Unemployment Fraud (30 counts), and Larceny Over $250. Following the change of plea, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced Moseley to two years probation and ordered her to pay $15,570 in restitution.

"By collecting benefits while continuing to work, Ms. Moseley exploited the unemployment system for her own personal gain," said AG Coakley. "The manipulation of this system, particularly with so many people in need, will not be tolerated and our office will continue to investigate and prosecute those who violate the law."

Moseley applied for unemployment benefits from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) in April 2007, while separated from her employer and began receiving benefits from April 2007 through November 2007. During part of this time, Moseley was working full-time at a medical facility and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA.

For each of the 30 weeks that Moseley collected unemployment benefits between April 2007 and November 2007, she notified the EOLWD\DUA that she was not working, and that she was able to work and was available for work. The fraudulent activities were initially detected by investigators from the EOLWD\DUA. Moseley collected fraudulent benefits totaling $15,750 while working and collecting. During the relevant time period, Moseley earned over $17,000 from her place of employment.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Moseley on March 11, 2010. Moseley was arraigned on April 14, 2010, in Suffolk Superior Court at which time she pled not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Yesterday, Moseley entered a change of plea to guilty and was sentenced.

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.

AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division works to protect consumers and the integrity of the insurance system by investigating and prosecuting those who commit fraud against all types of insurers, including the Commonwealth's unemployment insurance and workers' compensation system. The prosecution of insurance fraud helps prevent the increase in premiums and taxes that are the result of fraudulent insurance claims. To date in 2010, the Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division has obtained over $600,000 in restitution orders in 23 matters.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Cotter of AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Luke Goldworm of the Attorney General's Office and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.