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Massachusetts Woman Pleads to Unemployment Insurance Fraud

Kelly Barratt Fraudulently Obtained Benefits for Incarcerated Husband

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Kelly J. Barratt (age 48) with a last known address of 243 South Worcester Street, Norton, MA, pleaded nolo contendere today before Providence Superior Court Magistrate John J. Flynn to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting more than $2,000 in Unemployment Insurance benefits for her husband Emerson Barratt while he was incarcerated at the Adult Correctional Institution.

Barratt was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,275 to the State of Rhode Island.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between March 9, 2013 and April 6, 2013, Barratt called into the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI DLT) Teleserve phone system and fraudulently authorized unemployment benefit payments in the name of her husband, Emerson Barratt, while he was incarcerated at the Adult Correctional Institution. Barratt also changed Emerson's pin number, fraudulently obtained a new electronic payment card in order to receive the unemployment benefits, and provided false information to the RI DLT when the Department called regarding her husband's whereabouts during the time he was incarcerated.

"In just under one year, our office, through a partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, has successfully prosecuted more than a dozen individuals who have tried to defraud our unemployment insurance safety net, with court ordered restitution in the amount of $234,000," said Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin. "Unemployment benefits provide a crucial safety net for people struggling to get by, and it is imperative that the system be protected for those who truly need it. Fraud and abuse will not be tolerated, and as we have shown, our office will aggressively prosecute those who try to manipulate the system."

"By including cross-matching of our weekly UI claim loads against a computer file of current ACI inmates, and working closely with the Attorney General's Office and Rhode Island State Police, we're holding the people who commit UI fraud accountable," DLT Director Charles J. Fogarty said. "We're also showing that Rhode Island government is accountable to our citizens and our employers."

The case was investigated by Detective Sergeant Christopher J. Dicomitis of the Rhode Island State Police Auto Theft and Insurance Fraud Unit. 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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