For Immediate Release - January 15, 2014

Three Arraigned for Allegedly Collecting More Than $106,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division Recovers More Than $1.4 Million in Restitution in 2013

BOSTON – Three individuals have been arraigned in connection with collecting a combined total of more than $106,000 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 $222,000 from their employment.

In 2013, AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division (IUFD) recovered more than $1.4 million in restitution for the state. The 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. 

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against the three defendants on Dec. 19, 2013. The defendants were arraigned Monday and charged as follows:

CHRISTOPHER RABIDEAU
Christopher Rabideau, 35, of Malden, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (85 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (2 counts). According to authorities, Rabideau fraudulently received unemployment benefits on two separate claims between November 2008 and October 2009 and between April 2011 and January 2012. During that time Rabideau was allegedly working for various employers and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 85 weeks that Rabideau fraudulently collected benefits he allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, but that he was able to work and was available for work. Rabideau allegedly collected fraudulent benefits totaling more than $53,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the alleged fraud, Rabideau earned more than $109,000 from his employment.

RICHARD ROTATORI
Richard Rotatori, 59, of Franklin, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (51 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Rotatori fraudulently received unemployment benefits between January 2010 and January 2011. During that time Rotatori allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 51 weeks that Rotatori 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. Rotatori allegedly collected fraudulent benefits totaling more $37,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the alleged fraud, Rotatori earned nearly $75,000 through his employment.  

KENNETH LAMARCHE
Kenneth LaMarche, 44, of Salem, NH, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (28 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (2 counts). According to authorities, LaMarche fraudulently received unemployment benefits over two separate claims from between July 2010 and December 2010 and then from between April 2010 to May 2011. During that time, LaMarche allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 28 weeks that LaMarche 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. LaMarche allegedly collected fraudulent benefits totaling more than $16,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the alleged fraud, LaMarche earned more than $38,000 from his employment.  

Rabideau, Rotatori, and LaMarche were individually arraigned Monday in Suffolk Superior Court where each pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. LaMarche and Rotatori are due back in court on Mar. 4 for a pre-trial conference. Rabideau is due back in court on Mar. 11 for a pre-trial conference. Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson presided over the arraignments.

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.

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 Kristy Lavigne, Geoffrey Wood, and Joshua Pakstis of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigators Steven Pfister and Philip Mantyla of the Attorney General’s Office and investigator John Kiernan from EOLWD\DUA.

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