Lowell Man Indicted in Connection with Allegedly Stealing Over $42,000 in Unemployment Benefits
Gary St. Hilaire, age 48, was charged with Unemployment Fraud (70 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (3 counts).
"We allege that Mr. St. Hilaire repeatedly violated the law and exploited the unemployment system for his own benefit," said AG Coakley. "Many people are struggling to get by in today's economy and our office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute individuals who fraudulently collect benefits and return the illegally obtained funds to the Commonwealth."
According to authorities, St. Hilaire applied for unemployment benefits from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) on three separate occasions in November 2006, 2007, and 2008, while separated from his employer and began receiving benefits from December 2006 through June 2007, December 2007 through November 2008, and November 2008 through May 2009. During the relevant time periods, St. Hilaire was allegedly working for a lawn care service company and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.
For each of the 70 weeks that St. Hilaire collected unemployment benefits between January 2007 through June 2007, January 2008 through November 2008, and January 2009 through May 2009, he allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, but that he was able to work and was available for work. Authorities allege St. Hilaire collected fraudulent benefits totaling $42,639 while working and collecting. During the relevant time period, St. Hilaire allegedly earned over $121,000 gross pay from his employer.
A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against St. Hilaire today. St. Hilaire is scheduled to be arraigned on December 2, 2010, 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.
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 $800,000 in restitution orders in 27 matters.
The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant Attorneys General Michael J. Walsh of AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Scott Gisetto of the Attorney General's Office and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.