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Two Individuals Plead to Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Adrian George (age 44), with a last known address of 29 Randall Street, Cranston, and Roosevelt Bonilla, (age 43) with a last known address of 186 Clarence Street, Providence, both pleaded nolo contendere to obtaining money under false pretenses for illegally collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

George entered the plea yesterday before Providence Superior Court Special Magistrate Patrick T. Burke to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting over $17,000 in unemployment benefits while he was employed.

George was sentenced to 10 years probation, and ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $17,128 to the State of Rhode Island at the time of sentencing.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between January 1, 2005 and April 24, 2010, George failed to report his weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training while he was working and employed by Cherokee Construction Inc. in Cranston. George was required to report any earnings when he called the voice response unit to certify for his weekly unemployment insurance payment using his personal pin number.

Bonilla entered the plea yesterday before Providence Superior Court Special Magistrate Patrick T. Burke to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting over $6,000 in unemployment benefits while he was employed full time.

Bonilla was sentenced to 2 years probation, and ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $6,018 to the State of Rhode Island at the time of sentencing.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between November 1, 2008 and February 9, 2012, Bonilla failed to report his weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training while he was working and employed by Commercial Painting in Pawtucket. Bonilla was required to report any earnings when he called the voice response unit to certify for his weekly unemployment insurance payment using his personal pin number.

"My office is committed to prosecuting individuals who defraud the system by collecting unemployment insurance benefits while employed," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "Unemployment insurance is an important safety net for those struggling to find a job. We need to ensure the system remains available for those who truly need it, not for those who use it to line their own pockets."

"Unemployment Insurance provides critical support to thousands of Rhode Islanders who are actively seeking work," said Charles J. Fogarty, director of the RI Department of Labor and Training. "We work diligently to root out those who are abusing this valuable program."

Rhode Island State Police Detective Sergeant Christopher J. Dicomitis of the Auto Theft and Insurance Fraud Unit led the investigations. Special Assistant Attorney General Genevieve Allaire Johnson prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General and the State of Rhode Island. Funded by RI DLT, Allaire Johnson prosecutes all unemployment insurance fraud, worker's compensation fraud, prevailing wage violations and labor standards fraud cases.

Related links

Department or agency: Department of the Attorney General

Online: http://www.riag.ri.gov/

Release date: 03-26-2014

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