For Immediate Release - September 16, 2013

Four Charged for Allegedly Collecting More Than $83,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON – Four individuals have been charged in connection with collecting a combined total of more than $83,000 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 $128,000 from their employment.

“Unemployment fraud puts a strain on the system,” AG Coakley said. “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 two defendants on Thursday. Indictments were returned against an additional defendant today. A separate District Court complaint was also filed against the remaining defendant on Thursday. 

The three indicted defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on October 15. They are charged as follows:

KARLA ULEBOR
Karla Ulebor, 52, of Milton, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (43 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Ulebor fraudulently received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between March 2010 and March 2011. During that time Ulebor was allegedly working for various employers and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 43 weeks that Ulebor 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, or in some instances indicated that she was working, but underreported her income. Ulebor allegedly collected fraudulent benefits totaling nearly $26,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the alleged fraud, Ulebor earned nearly $62,000 from her employment.

JAMES LYDON, JR.
James Lydon, Jr., 47, of Cohasset, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (38 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Lydon fraudulently received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between July 2009 and March 2010. During that time Lydon allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 38 weeks that Lydon 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. Lydon allegedly collected fraudulent benefits totaling nearly $24,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the alleged fraud, Lydon earned nearly $20,000 through his employment.  

MARLENE PIERRE
Marlene Pierre, 44, of Lynn, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (47 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Pierre fraudulently received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between January 2009 and December 2009. During that time, Pierre allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 47 weeks that Pierre 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. Pierre allegedly collected fraudulent benefits totaling more than $21,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the alleged fraud, Pierre earned more than $27,000 through her employment.  

A complaint was also taken out in Boston Municipal Court against an additional defendant on Thursday. The defendant is scheduled for arraignment in Boston Municipal Court on October 15. She is charged as follows: 

KRISTENE VACCARO
Kristene Vaccaro, 42, of West Wareham, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (28 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Vaccaro fraudulently received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA between August 2009 and April 2010. During that time, Vaccaro allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 28 weeks that Vaccaro 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. Vaccaro allegedly collected fraudulent benefits totaling nearly $13,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the alleged fraud, Vaccaro earned more than $19,000 from her employment.  

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 (IUFD) 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 2012, the IUFD obtained more than $1,647,000 in restitution orders in 32 matters.

To report unemployment fraud call the EOLWD/DUA’s Fraud Hotline @ 1-800-354-9927 or visit: www.mass.gov/lwd/ui-fraud anytime, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Jessica Massey, Gabriel Thornton, April English and Stephen Adams of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators Philip Mantyla and Steven Pfister of the Attorney General’s Office and investigator Ryan Murphy from EOLWD\DUA.

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