Two Men Arraigned for Allegedly Collecting More Than $67,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working
Defendants Allegedly Earned Thousands of Dollars While Fraudulently Collecting Benefits
BOSTON – Two men have been arraigned in connection with collecting more than $67,000 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).
Alfred Hill, age 27, of Salem, was arraigned on charges of 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, age 47, of Warren, was arraigned on charges of 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.
A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Hill and Rivers on December 8, 2011. The defendants were arraigned yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court where each pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. Hill is due back in court on March 5, for a pre-trial conference. Rivers is due back in court on February 28, for a pre-trial conference. Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson presided over the arraignments.
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 2011, the Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division obtained $5,578,934 in restitution orders in 33 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 and Gina Masotta of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators Christopher Gabriel and Rose Bagalawis of the Attorney General’s Office and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.