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Woonsocket Man Pleads to Unemployment Insurance Fraud, Ordered to Pay $13,485 in Restitution

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that Todd J. Salvas (age 35), with a last known address of 209 Logee Street, Woonsocket, pled nolo contendere yesterday before Providence County Superior Court Justice William E. Carnes, Jr. to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting in excess of $13,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while employed.

Salvas was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay full restitution to the State of Rhode Island in the amount of $13,485.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between July 18, 2009 and April 30, 2011, Salvas failed to report his weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI DLT) while he was employed with Thielsch Engineering Inc. located in Cranston, RI and simultaneously collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

Salvas 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.

"This is the latest of numerous unemployment insurance fraud cases that our office has prosecuted in the last several months, returning tens of thousands of dollars to the state," said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. "Manipulating the system does not just hurt the employers and workers who play by the rules – ultimately, it hurts our economy too. Unemployment insurance is a critical resource for people out of work, and we must ensure that it is preserved for the people who do deserve it. Unemployment insurance fraud is stealing, plain and simple, and our office will continue to aggressively go after those who attempt to defraud the system."

Rhode Island State Police Detective Robert Creamer of the Financial Crimes Unit led the investigation. 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.

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