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星期三, 6月 15, 2016

CAMBRIDGE MAN PLEADS GUILTY, SENTENCED FOR COLLECTING NEARLY $18,000 IN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS WHILE WORKING

CAMBRIDGE MAN PLEADS GUILTY, SENTENCED FOR COLLECTING NEARLY $18,000 IN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS WHILE WORKING

BOSTON – A Cambridge man has pleaded guilty and has been sentenced in connection with collecting nearly $18,000 in unemployment benefits while he continued to work, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. 

Scott M. MacPherson, age 44, of Cambridge, pleaded guilty to the charges of Larceny over $250 by False Pretenses (2 counts) and Unemployment Fraud (30 counts) in Suffolk Superior Court.

After the plea was entered, Judge Peter Krupp sentenced MacPherson to five years of probation. MacPherson was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $17,812.

“This defendant defrauded the system by collecting close to $18,000 in unemployment benefits while continuing to work.” said AG Healey. “Unemployment helps people who really need it bridge the gap between jobs, and is a benefit that when properly accessed can help bring stability to individuals and families. We will continue to work to ensure that those who take unfair advantage of the system are held accountable.”

This investigation was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Department of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA).

“We are vigilant and determined to protect the Trust Fund, so benefits are available for legitimate claimants,” Robert Cunningham, director of the Department of Unemployment Assistance, said. “I appreciate the ongoing work of my staff, and the collaboration with the staff of the Attorney General in bringing criminals like Mr. MacPherson to justice.”

Authorities found 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 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 available for work, but that he had not been offered employment.

MacPherson collected $17,812 in unemployment benefits while working full time, 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 Unit 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 @ 1-800-354-9927or visit: www.mass.gov/lwd/ui-fraud anytime, 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous.

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