Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training


Unemployment Insurance Fraud Crackdown
Results in Fines, Criminal Records

Ray Filippone (401) 462-8415
Assistant Director, Income Support
April 13, 2006

CRANSTON - Adelita S. Orefice, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, (DLT), announced that the Department will spare no effort in pursuing criminal charges against individuals who fraudulently collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. Director Orefice commented, "One of our top priorities has been to detect, prevent, and ultimately eliminate fraud and abuse in the UI program. Our goal is to maintain the integrity of the Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance Program to ensure that it remains financially secure and funds are available to assist those individuals who are legitimately entitled to benefits."

Unemployment Insurance compensates workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and are actively seeking work. Raymond Filippone, Assistant Director for Income Support, confirmed, "Individuals who fraudulently collect Unemployment Insurance are being aggressively pursued for criminal charges of UI fraud. DLT requires immediate reimbursement of overpayments for these claimants to avoid prosecution and conviction."

Fraud is a serious crime which can result in a criminal record. DLT may seek penalties under applicable laws, which may include a felony charge for each offense. Conviction may result in incarceration and/or restitution, and may bring the additional charges of court costs and fines along with community service. Examples of fraud include giving false information, and failing to report earnings from self-employment or other work performed while collecting UI benefits.

Since May of 2005, DLT has prosecuted thirteen criminals, resulting in dispositions and restitution of $79,179. Prosecutions include:

Sixty-two cases are still pending final disposition, involving a total of $433,385 in UI benefits. "We take a strong stand against anyone who tries to defraud the UI system," stated Filippone. "We will continue to investigate and develop new strategies for pursuing these individuals."

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The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training offers a wide array of employment and training services to both the general public and to individuals with unusual barriers to employment. DLT is ready to assist any job seeker, whether the goal is a first job, a better job, or a career change. Rhode Island's work force is protected through the enforcement of labor laws, prevailing wage rates, and work place health and safety standards. Temporary income support is available to unemployed, sick, or injured workers and a comprehensive rehabilitation program is available to those injured on the job.
DLT is dedicated to the growth and competitiveness of Rhode Island industry, administering a variety of training grants, tax credits, and apprenticeship programs to help employers. Economic indicators and labor market information are available for long-range planning. The Agency engages in active outreach, helping large and small employers retain their best workers or retrain their existing work force. At no cost to the employer, DLT will also screen job applicants, post job vacancies, and help businesses institute cost-sharing programs that can avert layoffs.For more information on the innovative programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders at the Department of Labor and Training, please call (401) 462-8000 or visit our web site at www.dlt.ri.gov

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Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
TDD (401) 462-8006