Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Ruth Rosa-Rios (age 46), of Woonsocket, pleaded nolo contendere yesterday before Providence Superior Court Justice William E. Carnes to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses over $1,500 for collecting more than $2,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while she was employed. Under the terms of the plea, Rosa-Rios was sentenced to nine months to serve at the ACI, eight years suspended with probation, and ordered to pay $2,090 in restitution.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on diverse dates between October 17, 2015 and December 26, 2015, Rosa-Rios failed to report her weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT) when she reported her wages via the Internet in to the RIDLT to authorize her weekly unemployment benefits. While she collected unemployment insurance benefits, Rosa- Rios was working for Capstan Atlantic Corp., located in Wrentham, MA.
This is not the first time Rosa-Rios has been charged with obtaining money under false pretenses from RIDLT. In 2014, Rosa-Rios pleaded nolo contendere to accessing a computer for fraudulent purposes, obtaining money under false pretense, and conspiracy.
At the time she committed the crimes, Rosa-Rios was a 14-year employee of the RIDLT where she worked as a Benefits Claim Specialist and was responsible for making decisions regarding unemployment insurance benefit applications. On numerous occasions between the dates of April 1, 2011 and September 30, 2011, Rosa-Rios accessed her work computer and the computers of her colleagues to fraudulently authorize weekly unemployment insurance benefits to be paid to her husband and co-conspirator Jose D. Rios, which he was not entitled to receive. The duplicate payments were detected by RI-DLT staff, at which time the Rhode Island State Police were contacted.
At the time of her plea, Rosa-Rios was sentenced to 10 years, with one year to serve on home confinement and the remainder suspended with probation, and was ordered to pay full restitution in the amount of $25,472.
"This defendant tried to defraud the system not once, but twice, and each time she was caught and successfully prosecuted," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "Her egregious actions warrant a sentence that includes jail time."
"The facts of both cases are offensive as is this defendant's serial abuse of the public trust," said DLT Director Scott Jenson. "I applaud Attorney General Kilmartin and his team for their aggressive defense of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and the tax dollars it represents."
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.
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.