Press Release

Press Release Mississippi Woman Charged With Stealing Over $50,000 in Unemployment Benefits

Former Department of Unemployment Assistance Customer Service Contractor Allegedly Abused Position to Open Fraudulent Claims
For immediate release:
6/28/2022
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for Mississippi Woman Charged With Stealing Over $50,000 in Unemployment Benefits

Thomas Dalton, Deputy Press Secretary

BOSTONA Mississippi woman has been indicted and arraigned on multiple charges in connection with a scheme involving fraudulent state unemployment claims she opened for herself, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Kachina Abrams, age 25, of Brookhaven, Mississippi, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of identity fraud (6 counts), unemployment fraud (11 counts), larceny over $1,200 (3 charges), attempted larceny over $1,200 (3 charges), and money laundering (1 count). She was extradited to Massachusetts and was arraigned on Friday in Suffolk Superior Court. Assistant Clerk Magistrate Stacey Pichardo set bail at $10,000.

The AG’s Office alleges that Abrams stole over $50,000 while working as a customer service sub-contractor for the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) between March and September 2020. The DUA contracted customer service positions to deal with the influx of unemployment assistance claims stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic related business closures in 2020. Abrams was able to work in this position remotely from Mississippi, where she answered phone calls and used a laptop she had been issued to access the DUA’s internal filing system.

Abrams used her access to the DUA system and the information she gleaned from unemployment assistance applicants to impersonate the Massachusetts residents and direct their benefits to be deposited into bank accounts that she created and controlled. In total, the AG’s Office alleges that Abrams fraudulently obtained $53,445 from the DUA.

These charges are the result of an investigation referred to the AG’s Office by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD/DUA).

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 at 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 Christopher O’Brien and Investigator Loreny Bernabe, both of AG Healey’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division, with assistance from the Massachusetts State Police and investigators at EOLWD/DUA.

###

Media Contact for Mississippi Woman Charged With Stealing Over $50,000 in Unemployment Benefits

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Feedback