FRANKLIN MAN PLEADS GUILTY, SENTENCED FOR STEALING MORE THAN $37,000 IN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
BOSTON – A Franklin man has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced in connection with fraudulently collecting more than $37,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
“This defendant collected unemployment benefits while continuing to work in violation of the law,” AG Coakley said. “Unemployment fraud puts a strain on the system and the detection, investigation, and prosecution of these crimes are important to deter fraud and return these funds to the Commonwealth.”
Richard Rotatori, 59, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of Unemployment Fraud (51 counts) and Larceny Over $250. After the plea was entered, Judge Peter Krupp sentenced Rotatori to five years probation and ordered him to pay restitution. Rotatori is also ordered to serve 100 hours community service.
Rotatori fraudulently received unemployment benefits between January 2010 and January 2011. During that time Rotatori 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 notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, but that he was able to work and was available for work. Rotatori collected fraudulent benefits totaling more $37,000 while working and collecting. During the time of the fraud Rotatori earned nearly $75,000 through his employment.
A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Rotatori on Dec. 19, 2013. He was arraigned on Jan. 13, 2014 where he pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Rotatori pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced.
The case is 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).
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.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Wood of AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division with assistance from investigator Steven Pfister of the Attorney General’s Office and investigators from EOLWD\DUA.