For Immediate Release - June 11, 2010

Three People Indicted for Allegedly Collecting More Than $58,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has secured indictments against three individuals on charges they separately schemed to collect over $58,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work. A Suffolk County Grand Jury has returned indictments against two men and one woman as the result of investigations referred to the Attorney General's Office by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA).

"The activities alleged in these cases not only violate the law by exploiting a system that provides a valuable service to the many people struggling to get by in today's economy," said AG Coakley. "Our office takes these violations seriously and we will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute individuals who wrongfully collect unemployment benefits to which they are not entitled."

THOMAS KELLEY

Thomas Kelley, age 55, of Medford, was charged with Unemployment Fraud (38 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (2 counts). According to authorities, Kelley applied for unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA in April 2006 while separated from his employer and began receiving benefits from April 2006 through September 2006. In January 2008, Kelley applied for unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA and began receiving benefits from February 2008 through January 2009. During the relevant time periods, Kelley was allegedly working for seven different employers and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.

For each of the 38 weeks that Kelley collected unemployment benefits between April 2006 and September 2006 and between February 2008 and 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. Authorities allege Kelley collected fraudulent benefits totaling $20,812.94 while working and collecting. During the relevant time period, Kelley allegedly earned over $41,526.40 from his various places of employment.

GINA VALBURN

Gina Valburn, age 45, of Mattapan, was charged with Unemployment Fraud (27 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Valburn applied for unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA in November 2007 while separated from her employer and began receiving benefits from November 2007 through June 2008. During part of this time, Valburn was allegedly working full time as a patient representative at a Massachusetts hospital.

For each of the 27 weeks that Valburn collected unemployment benefits between December 2007 and June 2006, she allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that she was not working, but that she was able to work and was available for work. Authorities allege Valburn collected fraudulent benefits totaling $16,875 while working and collecting. During the relevant time period, Valburn allegedly earned over $26,000 from her place of employment.

RASHEEM MANSON

Rasheem Manson, age 28, of Rochester, was charged with Unemployment Fraud (43 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Manson applied for unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA in June 2008 while separated from his employer and began receiving benefits from June 2008 through May 2009. During part of this time, Manson was allegedly working full time as a residential counselor at a school and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.

For each of the 43 weeks that Manson collected unemployment benefits between August 2008 and 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 Manson collected fraudulent benefits totaling $22,053 while working and collecting. During the relevant time period, Manson allegedly earned over $19,000 from his place of employment.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Kelley, Valburn, and Manson late yesterday. Kelley, Valburn, and Manson are scheduled to be individually arraigned on June 29, 2010, in Suffolk Superior Court.

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

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 prosecutors assigned to these cases are Assistant Attorneys General Michael J. Walsh, David Andrews, and Audrey Cosgrove of AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators Luke Goldworm and Scott Gisetto of the Attorney General's Office and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.

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