North Attleboro Woman Arraigned for Stealing Thousands of Dollars in Unemployment Benefits and Embezzling Money from Her Employer
FALL RIVER – A North Attleboro woman has been arraigned for fraudulently collecting several thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits and for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from her employer, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Allison Capobianco, 41, is charged with of Unemployment Fraud (83 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (6 counts).
According to authorities, Capobianco applied for and received unemployment benefits from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) between March 2008 and May 2011. At the same time, Capobianco managed the finances of Bluestone Construction based in Dighton.
Each week that Capobianco collected unemployment benefits she allegedly falsely certified to EOLWD\DUA that she was not working, or she greatly underreported her income. As a result of the scheme, Capobianco fraudulently collected tens of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits.
Authorities further allege that while Capobianco was working and collecting unemployment benefits, she stole tens of thousands of dollars from her employer to pay for personal expenditures that she made on credit cards.
This matter was referred to the Attorney General’s Office after an initial investigation was conducted by the Dighton Police Department in response to a request by the business owner.
A Bristol County Grand Jury returned indictments against Capobianco on March 21. Capobianco was arraigned on Friday in Bristol Superior Court where she pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. She is due back in court on June 3 for a pre-trial conference.
The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides temporary assistance to unemployed workers through the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, which is funded by employer contributions. Private employers are required to pay quarterly contributions into the trust fund based on the number of workers they employ and how often their workers have accessed UI benefits, among other factors.
DUA’s Program Integrity Department focuses on the prevention, detection and the investigation of those who defraud or attempt to defraud the unemployment insurance program. Once fraud is detected, the Program Integrity Department works aggressively with the Attorney General’s office and other agencies to recover money owed to the UI Trust Fund.
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 2012, the IUFD obtained more than $1,647,000 in restitution orders in 32 matters.
To report unemployment fraud to the EOLWD\DUA, call the agency’s toll free fraud hotline at (800) 354-9927 anytime, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Brendan O’Shea and Jeanne Veenstra of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from Senior Investigator Mark Pulli of the Attorney General’s Financial Investigations Division, and investigator Mark St. Onge from EOLWD\DUA.