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Three Individuals Plead to Unemployment Insurance Benefit Fraud

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that three individuals have pleaded to unemployment insurance benefit fraud of nearly $50,000. To date this year, the Office has secured $254,027 in court-ordered restitution, which is deposited in the state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

"We continue to work with our partners at the Department of Labor and Training and the Rhode Island State Police to aggressively root out fraud in the unemployment insurance benefit system. It is a partnership that has continued to pay dividends in the form of restitution to the UI Trust Fund, and as a deterrent to others who think they can get away with defrauding the State," said Attorney General Kilmartin.

Elizabeth Brill (age 52), of Wakefield, RI, pleaded nolo contendere today before Superior Court Justice Kristin Rodgers to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 for collecting more than $8,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while she was employed. Brill was sentenced to five years of probation and was ordered to pay $8,188 in restitution, at a rate of no less than $141 per month.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on dates between July 16, 2011 and May 21, 2012, Brill 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 Brill was collecting unemployment benefits, she was employed by JC Penny Optical.

On Monday, March 27, 2017, James Krause (age 42), of Bellingham, MA, pleaded nolo contendere before Superior Court Justice Luis Matos to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 for collecting more than $30,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was employed. Krause was sentenced to ten years of probation and was ordered to pay $30,180 in restitution, at a rate of no less than $100 per month for the first year of probation and $280 per month thereafter.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on dates between November 29, 2008 and March 21, 2011, Krause failed to accurately report his weekly earnings to the RIDLT when he called in to the RIDLT Teleserve voice response system to authorize his weekly unemployment benefits. While Krause was collecting unemployment benefits, he was employed by Colbea Enterprises and Savvy Staffing Solutions, Inc.

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, Joseph Faria (age 45), of West Warwick, pleaded nolo contendere before Superior Court Magistrate Patrick Burke to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 for collecting more than $11,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was employed. Faria was sentenced to two years suspended and three years of probation to run consecutive, and was ordered to pay $11,320 in restitution, at a rate of no less than $333 per month.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on dates between January 24, 2015 and July 20, 2015, Faria failed to accurately report his weekly earnings to the RIDLT when he called in to the RIDLT Teleserve voice response system to authorize his weekly unemployment benefits. While Faria was collecting unemployment benefits, he was employed by Cardi Corporation.

The cases were initiated by RI DLT fraud investigators and then referred to the Rhode Island State Police where the investigations were led by Investigator Michael Douglas. Special Assistant Attorney General Carole L. McLaughlin prosecuted the cases 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.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of the Attorney General
  • Online: http://www.riag.ri.gov/
  • Release date: 03-30-2017

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