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October 30, 09

NEWS / Eight Individuals Charged with Stealing More Than $100,000 from States Unemployment Fund


TRENTON – Attorney General Anne Milgram announced today that eight people have been charged with cheating the State of New Jersey’s unemployment fund out of a total of $100,487.

Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni noted that the charges resulted from cooperative investigations by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Division of Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau.

The Division of Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau obtained the following separate state grand jury indictments on Oct. 19:

State v. Marvin Fletcher. Fletcher, 50, of Trenton, was charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification to authorities. The indictment alleges that between February 2003 and June 2005, Fletcher was earning wages while he was collecting unemployment insurance benefits. The indictment alleges that Fletcher failed to report the earnings to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and, as a result, allegedly received $26,231 in unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.

State v. Jackie A. Seton. Seton, 43, of Trenton, was charged with third-degree theft by deception and unsworn falsification to authorities. The indictment alleges that between June and December 2004, Seton was earning wages while he was collecting unemployment insurance benefits. Seton allegedly failed to notify the Department of Labor and Workforce Development of the earnings and, as a result, allegedly received $6,966 in unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.

State v. Bobby J. Threats, Jr. Threats, 31, of Trenton, was charged with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification to authorities. The indictment alleges that, between September 2004 and December 2007, Threats collected unemployment insurance benefits while he was also earning wages. According to the indictment, by failing to report the earnings to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Threats allegedly received $6,614 in unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.

The Division of Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau recently obtained the following state grand jury indictments:

State v. Faheem R. Murphy. Murphy, 31, of Willingboro, was charged on Oct. 16 with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification to authorities. Between December 2003 and June 2005, while collecting unemployment insurance benefits, Murphy was allegedly also earning wages. According to the indictment, by not reporting the earnings to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Murphy allegedly received $5,794 in unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.

State v. Russell Halbach. Halbach, 32, of Belford, was charged on Oct. 14 with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification to authorities. The indictment alleges that between November 2003 and May 2005, Halbach was earning wages while collecting unemployment insurance benefits. According to the indictment, by not reporting the earnings to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Halbach allegedly received $19,970 in unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.

State v. Ronald Mazotas. Mazotas, 37, of Bordentown, was charged in a separate Oct. 14 indictment with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification to authorities. According to the indictment, between December 2004 and May 2005, while he was collecting unemployment insurance benefits, Mazotas was allegedly earning wages. It is charged that, by failing to notify the Department of Labor and Workforce Development of the earnings, Mazotas allegedly collected $8,382 in unemployment insurance benefits to which he was not entitled.

State v. Kiyesha Harden. Harden, 24, of Vineland, was charged on Oct. 9 with third-degree theft by deception. According to the indictment, between August 2004 and January 2005, Harden was earning wages while collecting unemployment insurance benefits. The indictment alleges that, by not reporting the earnings to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Harden allegedly received $3,942 in unemployment insurance benefits to which she was not entitled.

State v. Adolphine E. Jules. Jules, 33, of Roselle, was charged on Oct. 1 with third-degree theft by deception and fourth-degree unsworn falsification to authorities. The indictment alleges that between December 2001 and July 2005, Jules earned wages while she was collecting unemployment insurance benefits. The indictment alleges that, by not reporting the earnings to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Jules allegedly collected $22,588 in unemployment insurance benefits to which she was not entitled.

Detectives Gary O’Brien and Lynn Fitzgerald of the Division of Criminal Justice coordinated the investigations. The cases were presented to the state grand jury by Deputy Attorneys General James Ruberton (Fletcher, Seton and Threats), Jacqueline Cistaro (Halbach and Mazotas), Valerie Noto (Murphy), Mark Kurzawa (Harden) and Lee Schaer (Jules). Attorney General Milgram thanked the Bureau of Benefit Payment Control from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for its assistance in the investigations.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner David J. Socolow said that the cases were first identified by Labor Department investigators by cross-matching employer-submitted wage information against UI benefit payments; pursuing leads from employer protests of UI benefit charges; surveying employer payroll records; and responding to alerts from concerned citizens.

The indictments are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

http://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases09/pr20091029a.html

 




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