For Immediate Release - September 25, 2015

Cambridge Man Indicted for Collecting Nearly $18,000 in Unemployment Benefits While Working

Charged with Larceny and Unemployment Fraud

BOSTON – A Cambridge man has been indicted on larceny and unemployment fraud charges in connection with collecting nearly $18,000 in unemployment benefits while he allegedly continued to work, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.  

Scott M. MacPherson, age 43, of Cambridge, was indicted today by a Suffolk Grand Jury on charges of Larceny over $250 by False Pretenses (2 counts) and Unemployment Fraud (30 counts). He will be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on Oct. 8.

“Unemployment fraud puts a strain on the system and takes funds away from those in need,” said AG Healey. “Our office will continue to investigate and prosecute these crimes in order to deter fraud, return funds back to the state, and protect the integrity of the insurance industry.”

These indictments are the result of an investigation referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA). 

"Claimants who defraud the system also defraud employers that pay into the system," Robert Cunningham, director of the Department of Unemployment, said. "We don't tolerate fraud of any kind."

Authorities allege that for 30 weeks between July 2013 and October 2014, MacPherson applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA.

During that time, MacPherson was allegedly working full-time at a scaffolding company and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the weeks that MacPherson fraudulently collected unemployment benefits, he notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, he was available for work, but he had not been offered employment.

MacPherson is alleged to have fraudulently collected $17,812 in benefits while working and collecting. Authorities further allege that he was earning an income in excess of his weekly benefits.

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 Healey’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 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.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Joshua Pakstis of AG Healey’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division, with assistance from investigator Philip Mantyla of the Attorney General’s Office and investigators from the DUA. 

#########