Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Huber Urizar (age 41), of Providence, pleaded nolo contendere today before Superior Court Magistrate John J. Flynn to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting more than $10,500 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was employed. Urizar was sentenced to 63 months probation and ordered to pay restitution no less than $150 per month. The defendant paid $1,500 in restitution today.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on diverse dates between August 8, 2009 and September 6, 2011, Urizar failed to accurately report his weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI-DLT) when he called in to the RI-DLT Teleserve voice response system to authorize his weekly unemployment benefits. While Urizar was collecting unemployment benefits, he was working for Mad Metals Inc. dba A&H Duffy Polishing and Finishing Inc., in Cranston, RI. Urizar collected $10,622 in unemployment insurance benefits he was not entitled to.
The case was initiated by RI-DLT fraud investigator Tommy Ariza 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.
"While some think unemployment insurance benefit fraud is a victimless crime or that it's not a big deal, the truth is that when someone defrauds the program, it's the 33,000 Rhode Island businesses that fund the program and the hard working men and women of this state who are the victims," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "We are not going to allow anyone to abuse the system at the expense of those who play by the rules."
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.