For Immediate Release - May 24, 2012

Salem Man Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Collecting More Than $45,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

Defendant Earned Thousands of Dollars While Fraudulently Collecting Benefits

BOSTON – A Salem man has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced in connection with collecting more than $45,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

“This defendant fraudulently collected unemployment benefits on multiple occasions while working,” AG Coakley said.  “Unemployment benefits are intended to assist individuals who are unable to find work and not to supplement the income of the gainfully employed.”

Alfred Hill, age 27, pleaded guilty to charges of Unemployment Fraud (70 counts) and Larceny Over $250.  Following the change of plea, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced Hill to three years’ probation and ordered him to pay full restitution of $45,710. 

The case is the result of an investigation referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA). 

Hill applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between January 2009 and July 2010.  During part of that time, Hill was 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 notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, but that he was able to work and was available for work.  Hill collected fraudulent benefits totaling $45,710 while working and collecting.  During the time of the fraud, Hill earned approximately $39,880 from his employment.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Hill on December 8, 2011.  Hill was arraigned on January 11, 2012, in Suffolk Superior Court where he pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.  Hill pleaded guilty yesterday, was sentenced, and ordered to pay full restitution.

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 case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Cotter of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Christopher Gabriel of the Attorney General’s Office and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.


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