Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

 

Unemployment Insurance Fraud Crackdown
Results in Fines, Criminal Records
(pdf)



Contact:
Ray Filippone (401) 462-8415
Assistant Director, Income Support
September 18, 2006



CRANSTON - Adelita S. Orefice, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, (DLT), announced that DLT has prosecuted twenty-six individuals for Unemployment Insurance (UI) fraud in 2006, resulting in dispositions and restitution of $196,517, including four cases involving restitution of more than $10,000 each. Director Orefice noted that individuals who fraudulently collect UI benefits will be aggressively pursued for criminal charges. Today, there are currently fifty-nine cases of alleged UI fraud pending final disposition from the court system, involving a total of $416,184. Director Orefice emphasized, "Prevention, detection, and elimination of fraud and abuse in the UI program are one of our top priorities. We want to ensure that eligible individuals receive unemployment benefits-we don't want fraud and theft to eat away at this important safety net."

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, "If DLT discovers that claimants have received UI benefits through fraudulent means, we require immediate reimbursement of overpayments in order for those claimants to avoid criminal prosecution and conviction."

Unemployment Insurance 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.

There are four cases in 2006 that involved restitution of over $10,000 each. There are 22 remaining cases of UI fraud prosecuted to date in 2006.

Maintaining the integrity of Rhode Island's Unemployment Insurance program is a key priority for the UI Administration," reiterated Filippone. "We take a strong stand against anyone who tries to defraud the UI system. It is critical that we protect the integrity of the UI program in Rhode Island to ensure it remains financially secure and the funds are available to help those who are legitimately entitled to Unemployment Insurance benefits."


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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 workforce is protected through the enforcement of labor laws, prevailing wage rates, and workplace 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 the web site at
www.dlt.ri.gov

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