For Immediate Release - April 30, 2014

Halifax Woman Arraigned in Connection with Collecting More Than $29,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

BOSTON – A Halifax woman has been arraigned in connection with collecting a total of more than $29,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.  

The case is 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 defendant was collecting unemployment benefits she earned more than $53,000 from her employment.

Holly Proctor, 43, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (42 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (2 counts). According to authorities, Proctor applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA from May 2009 to September 2010. During part of that time, Proctor allegedly worked full time and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA. 

For each of the 42 weeks that Proctor 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 Proctor collected fraudulent benefits totaling more than $29,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the alleged fraud, Proctor earned nearly $53,000 through her employment.  

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Proctor on March 27. She was arraigned Monday in Suffolk Superior Court where she pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Proctor is due back in court on June 20 for a pre-trial conference. Clerk Magistrate Gary Wilson presided over the arraignment.

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.

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. 

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 case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General David Clayton of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Philip Mantyla and Steven Pfister of the Attorney General’s Office and investigators from EOLWD\DUA.

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