For Immediate Release - December 08, 2011

Four Charged for Allegedly Collecting $99,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

Defendants Allegedly Earned Thousands of Dollars While Fraudulently Collecting Benefits

BOSTON – Four individuals have been indicted in connection with collecting more than $99,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.  The cases are 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). 

“These benefits are intended to assist individuals who are unable to find work and not to supplement the income of the gainfully employed,” AG Coakley said.  “Unemployment fraud is not limited to any one profession and those who commit fraud will be held accountable.” 

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments today against the following four defendants:

ALFRED HILL
Alfred Hill, age 27, of Salem, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (70 counts) and Larceny Over $250.  According to authorities, Hill applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between January 2009 and July 2010.  During part of that time, Hill was allegedly working full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 70 weeks that Hill fraudulently collected unemployment benefits 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 Hill collected fraudulent benefits totaling $45,710 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Hill earned approximately $39,800 from his employment.

ANDREW RIVERS
Andrew Rivers, age 47, of Warren, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (50 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (2 counts).  According to authorities, Rivers applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA on two separate occasions between January 2006 and July 2009.  During part of that time, Rivers allegedly worked full time for four different employers and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 50 weeks that Rivers collected unemployment benefits 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 Rivers collected fraudulent benefits totaling $22,262 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Rivers earned approximately $28,629 through his employment. 

ARCLINCIA MITCHELL
Arclincia Mitchell, age 40, of Enfield, CT, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (106 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (3 counts).  According to authorities, Mitchell applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA on three separate occasions between October 2008 and October 2010.  During the relevant time periods, Mitchell was allegedly working part time for the same employer and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 106 weeks that Mitchell collected unemployment benefits between 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 Mitchell collected fraudulent benefits totaling $18,071 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Mitchell earned approximately $21,577 from her employment. 

JORGE VELEZ
Jorge Velez, age 35, of Lawrence, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (22 counts) and Larceny Over $250.  According to authorities, Velez applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between October 2008 and March 2009.  During that time Velez was allegedly working full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 22 weeks that Velez collected unemployment benefits he allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, that he was able to work and was available for work.  Authorities allege Velez fraudulently collected unemployment benefits totaling $13,300 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Velez earned approximately $21,714 through his employment. 

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Hill, Rivers, Mitchell, and Valez today.  The defendants are scheduled for arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on January 11, 2012. 

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 2010, the Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division obtained more than $800,000 in restitution orders in 28 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 cases are being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer Cotter, Gina Masotta, Audrey Cosgrove, and Stephen Adams of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators Christopher Gabriel, Rose Bagalawis and Tracy Wetterlow of the Attorney General’s Office and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.

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