For Immediate Release - November 10, 2010

New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty in Connection with Collecting More Than $10,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON - A New Hampshire man has pled guilty to charges he schemed to collect over $10,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today.

Scott Baldwin, age 49, of Hampton, NH, pled guilty yesterday in Boston Municipal Court to charges of Unemployment Fraud (17 counts), and Larceny Over $250. After the plea was entered, Judge Edward R. Redd ordered Baldwin to pay full restitution in the amount of $10,200 and Judge Redd also ordered that Baldwin serve three years of probation.

According to authorities, Baldwin applied for unemployment benefits from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) in July 2008 while separated from his Massachusetts employer and began receiving benefits from August 2008 through November 2008. During part of this time, Baldwin was working full-time as a professional contract estimator at a construction services firm located in Portsmouth, NH, and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.

For each of the 17 weeks that Baldwin collected unemployment benefits between August 2008 and November 2008, 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. Baldwin collected fraudulent benefits totaling $10,200 while working and collecting. During the relevant time period, Baldwin earned a salary of $80,000 per year at his place of employment.

Baldwin initially defaulted at his district court arraignment on June 29, 2010, and was subsequently arraigned on August 25, 2010 in Boston Municipal Court. At his arraignment Baldwin pled not guilty and was released on $1,500 bail. Yesterday, he pled guilty to all charges and was ordered to pay restitution and serve probation.

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 case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Adams 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.