Thirty New York state employees from Albany to New York City have been arrested and charged with unemployment fraud after they allegedly claimed unemployment benefits while actually working for the state. According to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the thirty defendants are charged with some variation of the crimes of Grand Larceny in the Third and Fourth Degrees, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, and Petit Larceny. As a former Manhattan prosecutor and a New York white collar criminal defense attorney at Crotty Saland PC, I can confidently say that the Attorney General’s Office is going to send a loud and clear message to the public that unemployment fraud will not be tolerated at any level.
According to Attorney General Cuomo:
“New York’s unemployment insurance fund was created to help hard-working individuals who find themselves out of a job get back on their feet. In this economic climate, the fund is more important than ever, and we cannot allow it to be depleted through fraud, waste and abuse. Individuals who attempt to undermine the safety net we provide for New Yorkers will be held accountable.”
To qualify for unemployment insurance benefits in New York State, one must weekly certify by phone or the internet that one has not worked for more than four days a week or, in the alternative, earned more than $405 a week. It is alleged that Maureen McGovern, 70, of Greenwich Street, New York, NY, Randy Destin, 45, of Pacific Street, Brooklyn, NY Kimberly Abrams, 42, of Watson Avenue, Bronx, NY, Ronald Antoine, 52, of Cruger Avenue, Bronx, NY, William Gee, 45, of 151st Street, Bronx, NY, Ani Leon-Marquez, 42, of 169th Street, Bronx, NY, Gail Miller, 32, of Elsmere Place, Bronx, NY, Phillip Lee, 24, of Channingway Court East, Columbus, OH, Nestloye Elliot, 50, of Bascolm Ave, Jamaica, NY, Martha Ulloa, 34, of 88th Street, Woodhaven, NY, Gaylord Beltran, 27, of Forest Avenue, Staten Island, NY, Aliesohn Reid, 27, of Caton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, Renee Bridgeman, 36, of Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, Kira S. Young, 27, of Albany, NY, Jamie Viola, 31, of Latham, NY, Jean Davis, 53, of Albany, NY, Greg Askilden, 53, of Palenville, NY, Tracy Barber, 26, of Rome, NY, Wayne Earing, 36, of Rensselaer, NY, Deborah Girgenti, 55, of Rensselaer, NY, Charles McMillan, 53, of Hartwick, NY, Cesar Ferarras, Jr., 35, of Poughkeepsie, NY, Joel Babcock, 33, of Stony Point, NY, Dawn Chase, 49, of Peekskill, NY, Steve Lawrence, 46, of Mount Vernon, NY, Carmen Alvarez, 38, of Islandia, NY Aida Licata, 48, of Center Moriches, NY, Donna Ryall, 51, of Deer Park, NY and Jimmy Rodriguez, 48, of Williston Park, NY, all took part in this scheme.
If convicted, Grand Larceny in the Third and Fourth Degrees carry a maximum sentence of seven and four years in state prison respectively. Falsifying Business Records carries a sentence of up to four years in state prison while Petit Larceny carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in county jail.
If you or a loved one is accused of a white collar or violent crime, the criminal defense lawyers and former prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC are ready to put forth your best defense to maintain your integrity and freedom.