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Pawtucket Man Pleads to Stealing Unemployment Insurance Benefits While Incarcerated

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Patrick O'Sullivan (age 45), of Pawtucket, pleaded nolo contendere today before Superior Court Magistrate Patrick Burke to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting more than $11,000 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was incarcerated at the Norfolk County Correctional facility in Massachusetts. Under the terms of the plea, O'Sullivan was sentenced to eight years with one year to serve on home confinement and the remainder suspended with probation, and was ordered to pay $11,905 in restitution at a rate of no less than $130 per month.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that between January 23, 2010 and September 7, 2012, the defendant was incarcerated for two separate periods of time totaling approximately 6 months during which he collected unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled due to his incarceration.

"Collecting unemployment insurance benefits while incarcerated is an absolute outrage and is the kind of criminal behavior that leads to cynicism by taxpayers," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "That said, the public should feel confident knowing there are checks in place to identify, investigate, and prosecute those who attempt to abuse the system."

The case was initiated by RI DLT fraud investigators and then referred to the Rhode Island State Police where the investigation was led Corporal David Gormley and Trooper Mathew Lynch. 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.

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