Brockton Man, Randolph Woman Arraigned in Connection with Allegedly Collecting More than $53,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working
Defendants Allegedly Earned Thousands of Dollars While Fraudulently Collecting Benefits
BOSTON – A Brockton man and a Randolph woman have been arraigned in connection with collecting a combined total of more than $53,000 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).
The defendants are charged as follows:
Gary Alvarado, age 29, of Brockton, was arraigned on charges of Unemployment Fraud (59 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Alvarado applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between March 2009 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 while working 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, age 52, of Randolph, was arraigned on charges of Unemployment Fraud (49 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Williams applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA from November 2008 to 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 fraudulently 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.
A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Alvarado and Williams on June 7. The defendants were arraigned yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court where they pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. Alvarado and Williams are due back in court on September 25, for a pre-trial conference. Clerk Magistrate Connie Wong 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 systems. 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 Gabriel Thornton and Jennifer Cotter, of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Tracy Wetterlow of the Attorney General’s Office and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.