For Immediate Release - June 08, 2012

Five Charged for Allegedly Collecting More Than $117,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

Defendants Allegedly Earned Thousands of Dollars While Fraudulently Collecting Benefits

BOSTON – Five individuals have been charged in connection with collecting a combined total of more than $117,000 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 Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA).  

“We allege these defendants collected unemployment benefits while continuing to work in violation of the law,” AG Coakley said.  “Unemployment fraud puts a strain on the system and the detection, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes are important to deter fraud and return these funds back to the Commonwealth.”  

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against four defendants yesterday.  A separate District Court complaint was taken out against an additional defendant.  The five defendants are charged as follows:

ROBERT REYNOLDS
Robert Reynolds, age 42, of Hudson, NH, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (89 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (3 counts).  According to authorities, Reynolds applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between January 2008 and May 2010.  During part of that time, Reynolds allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose his employment status and earnings from disability benefits to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 89 weeks that Reynolds 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 Reynolds collected fraudulent benefits totaling $42,796 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Reynolds earned approximately $92,491 from his employment.

GARY ALVARADO
Gary Alvarado, age 28, of Brockton, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (59 counts) and Larceny Over $250.  According to authorities, Alvarado applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA  between March 2010 and November 2010.   During part of that time, Alvarado allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 59 weeks that Alvarado 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 Alvarado collected fraudulent benefits totaling $35,105 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Alvarado earned approximately $34,477 through his employment.  

ZELDA WILLIAMS
Zelda Williams, age 52, of Randolph, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (49 counts) and Larceny Over $250.  According to authorities, Williams applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA from November 2008 and October 2009.  During that time, Williams allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 49 weeks that Williams collected unemployment benefits 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 Williams collected fraudulent benefits totaling $18,342 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Williams earned approximately $35,521 from her employment.  

JUSTIN OTTING
Justin Otting, age 31, of South Berwick, ME, formerly of Salisbury, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (31 counts) and Larceny Over $250.  According to authorities, Otting applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between October 2006 and June 2008.  During that time Otting allegedly worked for three different employers and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 31 weeks that Otting 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 Otting fraudulently collected unemployment benefits totaling $10,890 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Otting earned approximately $13,109 through his employment.  

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments yesterday against Reynolds, Alvarado, Williams, and Otting.  The defendants are scheduled for arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on July 10.  

ANDREA MOM IENG
Andrea Mom Ieng, age 39, of Lowell, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (24 counts) and Larceny Over $250.  According to authorities, Ieng received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between May 2010 and November 2010.  During that time Ieng was allegedly working full time and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA.  For each of the 24 weeks that Ieng collected unemployment benefits she allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that she was not working, that she was able to work and was available for work.  Authorities allege Ieng fraudulently collected unemployment benefits totaling $10,464 while working and collecting.  According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Ieng earned a yearly salary of approximately $26,754 through her employment.  

A complaint was taken out in Boston Municipal Court against Ieng yesterday.  Ieng is scheduled for arraignment in Boston Municipal Court on July 10.   

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 Adreani, Gabriel Thornton, Jennifer Cotter, Sarah Bookbinder, and April English 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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