Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that former Department of Corrections guard Rosemary Hernandez (DOB: 1/27/83) with a last known address of 92 Fountain Street, Providence, pleaded nolo contendere yesterday before Providence County Superior Court Justice Brian Van Couyghen to one count of welfare fraud and one count of filing a false document. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Hernandez was sentenced to five years suspended with probation and ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $39,000 and a $3,000 fine.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between March, 2007 and February, 2013, while employed with the Department of Corrections as a guard, Hernandez created fraudulent pay stubs and submitted those stubs to the Rhode Island Department of Human Services in order to received child care assistance benefits of approximately $39,000 that she was not entitled to.
"Fraud and abuse in our social service programs restricts funds for those who truly need assistance and threatens the long term viability of the program," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "This crime is made more egregious by the fact that it was a state employee who perpetrated this fraud. The bottom line is that defrauding the system is stealing, and it will not be tolerated."
The investigation was initiated by the Department of Human Service , forward to the Department of Corrections Office of Inspections and investigated by the Rhode Island State Police. State Police Detective Matthew Salisbury led the investigation and Special Assistant Attorney General Carole McLaughlin prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.