Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Tamika Diaz (age 42), of Providence, pleaded nolo contendere yesterday before Superior Court Magistrate Patrick Burke to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting more than $10,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while she was employed. Under the terms of the plea, Diaz was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $10,174 in restitution at a rate of no less than $175 per month.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on or about dates between August 13, 2011 and April 1, 2013, Diaz failed to accurately report her weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT) when she called in to the RIDLT Teleserve voice response system to authorize her weekly unemployment benefits. While Diaz was collecting unemployment benefits she was working for Specialty Home Care Services in Providence, RI.
"This is the fifth individual this year that we have successfully prosecuted for stealing unemployment insurance benefits, and we will continue to do so until every person understands that if they try to cheat the system, they will get caught and effectively prosecuted," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
The case was initiated by RI DLT fraud investigators and then referred to the Rhode Island State Police where the investigation was led by Investigator Michael Douglas. Special Assistant Attorney General Carole L. McLaughlin prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.
The Office of Attorney General is assigned a prosecutor devoted exclusively to prosecuting fraud cases referred by the RI DLT involving unemployment insurance benefits fraud, workers' compensation fraud, prevailing wage violations, and labor standards violations. The prosecutor in this position is solely responsible for screening, charging, prosecuting, tracking, and reporting case results to RI DLT and the Office of Attorney General.