For Immediate Release - March 19, 2010

Saugus Man Indicted in Connection with Allegedly Collecting More Than $13,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON - A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against a Saugus man on charges he schemed to collect over $13,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work. Gustavo Pina, age 29, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (22 counts), and Larceny Over $250.

In October 2009, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA). Investigators discovered that Pina applied for unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA in June 2007 and began receiving benefits from August 2007 through January 2008. During this time, Pina was allegedly working full-time at a mortgage company and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.

For each week that Pina allegedly collected unemployment benefits, authorities allege that he 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. Pina allegedly collected fraudulent benefits totaling $13,200 while working. During the relevant time period, Pina allegedly earned $24,000 from his place of employment.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Pina yesterday. Pina is scheduled to be arraigned on April 6, 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.

Attorney General Martha 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. In Fiscal Year 2009, the Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division obtained over $2.6 million in restitution orders in 103 matters.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Audrey Cosgrove and was investigated by Scott Gisetto, both of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division, with assistance from investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.