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Providence Woman Pleads to Unemployment Insurance Benefit Fraud

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Janine Garrett (age 44), of Providence, pleaded nolo contendere yesterday before Providence Superior Court Justice (ret.) Francis J. Darigan to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 for collecting more than $7,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while she was employed. Garrett was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $7,269 in restitution at a rate of no less than $210 per month.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on diverse dates between September 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011, Garrett failed to accurately report her weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI-DLT) when she called the RI-DLT Teleserve voice response system to authorize her weekly unemployment benefits. While Garrett was collecting unemployment benefits, she was working for Hudson Services, Inc. of Cranston, Rhode Island.

The case was initiated by RI-DLT fraud investigator Claribel Terrero 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.

"This plea is the second in the past week and the fourth in the past month of individuals who admitted to defrauding the state's unemployment insurance benefit system," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "Our unemployment insurance program is a safety net for those who become unemployed. It is not and should not be used as a second paycheck for those who are gainfully employed."

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.

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