For Immediate Release - October 25, 2012

Four Arraigned for Allegedly Collecting More Than $78,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON – Four individuals have been arraigned in connection with collecting a combined total of more than $78,000 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). Authorities allege that during the time the defendants were collecting unemployment benefits they collectively earned more than $95,000 from their employment.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against three defendants on September 20. Two separate District Court complaints were taken out against the remaining defendants. 

Four of the defendants charged on September 20 were arraigned today; the remaining defendant, Richard Dorsey, will be arraigned on October 29. The defendants are charged as follows:

MICHELLE FOY

Michelle Foy, 42, of Lynn, was arraigned on charges of Unemployment Fraud(41 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Foy applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between January 2010 and

January 2011. During part of that time, Foy allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 41 weeks that Foy 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 Foy collected fraudulent benefits totaling nearly $25,000 while working and collecting. According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Foy earned nearly $25,000 through her employment.  

SHAHIDAH MUHAMMAD

Shahidah Muhammad, 44, of Everett, was arraigned on charges of Unemployment Fraud (27 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Muhammad applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between December 2008 and June 2009. During that time, Muhammad allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 27 weeks that Muhammad 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 Muhammad collected fraudulent benefits totaling more than $19,000 while working and collecting. According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Muhammad earned approximately $20,000 from her employment.  

Foy and Muhammad were arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court where they each pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. Clerk Magistrate Connie Wong presided over the arraignments. Foy is due back in court on December 10, for a pre-trial conference.  Muhammad is due back in court on December 20, for a pre-trial conference.

Complaints were taken out in Boston Municipal Court against two additional individuals on September 20. Both defendants were arraigned in Boston Municipal Court today. They are charged as follows: 

ANTOINE WARREN

Antoine Warren, 27, of Medford, was arraigned on charges of Unemployment Fraud (26 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Warren applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between December 2008 and June 2009. During part of that time Warren allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 26 weeks that Warren 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 Warren fraudulently collected unemployment benefits totaling more than $16,000 while working and collecting. According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Warren earned approximately $15,000 through his employment.  

THOMAS KINEAVY

Thomas Kineavy, 44, of Woburn, was arraigned on charges of Unemployment Fraud (34 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (2 counts). According to authorities, Kineavy received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between June 2009 and October 2010. During that time Kineavy was allegedly working full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 34 weeks that Kineavy 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 Kineavy fraudulently collected unemployment benefits totaling more than $17,000 while working and collecting. According to authorities, during the time of the alleged fraud, Kineavy earned approximately $35,000 through his employment.

Warren and Kineavy were arraigned today in Boston Municipal Court where they each pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. Judge Annette Forde presided over the arraignments. Warren is due back in court on December 18, for a pre-trial conference.  Kineavy is due back in court on November 30, for a pre-trial conference.

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 Peter Downing, Joshua Pakstis, Stephen Adams, Gabriel Thornton, and Jennifer Adreani, 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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