Press Releases

Posted on: October 19, 2016

Seven People Arrested for Collecting Unemployment Benefits While Being Employed

One of the defendants collected more than $30,000 over a three-year period MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced today that seven people have been arrested for allegedly collecting unemployment benefits while being employed. The seven individuals have all been charged with one count of grand larceny in the third degree (a D felony) and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree (an E felony). “Unemployment benefits are intended to help workers through hard times while they look for employment, but these defendants allegedly stole benefits while they were employed,” said DA Singas. “My office will continue to work to eradicate fraud from these crucial programs that provide an important safety net for hardworking New Yorkers.” “Unemployment Insurance benefits are a short-term solution to help those who have lost employment through no fault of their own,” said State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring the integrity of the system, detecting fraud quickly and referring cases to our partners in law enforcement. I thank District Attorney Singas and her team for their ongoing assistance and dedication to rooting out and prosecuting those who seek to fraudulently take advantage of this important safety net.” Dominick Acquino, 31, of Long Beach is charged with illegally collecting unemployment benefits between June 11, 2012 and December 9, 2012 totaling approximately $10,530.00. During that time period Acquino earned money as a full time office supplies sales representative working in Manhattan. The defendant is represented by James Pascarella, Esq. and his next court date December 5, 2016. Christopher McCormick, 34, of Long Beach, is charged with collecting unemployment benefits from February 20, 2012 to July 22, 2012 totaling approximately $11,353.25. During that time period the defendant allegedly earned wages as a full time laborer working in Farmingdale. The defendant is represented by Mark Alter, Esq. and his next court date is November 3, 2016. Justice Fells, 39, of Hempstead, is charged with allegedly collecting unemployment benefits between December 23, 2013 and May 11, 2014 totaling approximately $7,290.00. During that time period the defendant earned wages as a full time debt collector in Farmingdale and Commack. Fells is represented by The Legal Aid Society of Nassau County and is due in court again on December 2, 2016. Kenneth Robinson, 48, formerly of Hempstead, is charged with illegally collecting unemployment benefits between October 16, 2011 and April 1, 2012 totaling approximately $14,985.00. During that time period the defendant earned wages as a full time driver working in Lawrence and Carlstadt, N.J. Robinson is currently represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County and his next court date November 4, 2016. Michael O’Connor, 57, of East Rockaway, is charged with illegally collecting unemployment benefits between May 21, 2012 and January 27, 2013 totaling approximately $15,390.00. During that time period the defendant earned wages as a full time superintendent working in Maspeth, NY. O’Connor is represented by Marc Gann, Esq. and is due in court again on November 4, 2016. Sherill Goodson, 50, of Hempstead, is charged with illegally collecting unemployment benefits between November 27, 2011 and March 23, 2014 totaling approximately $34,288.75. During that time period the defendant earned wages as a driver in Hicksville. The defendant is represented by the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County and is due back in court again on December 1, 2016. Curtis McFadden, 48, of Massapequa is charged with illegally collecting unemployment benefits between December 19, 2011 and December 2, 2012 totaling approximately $18,731.25. During that time period he earned wages as a full time tech support representative working in Melville. The defendant is currently represented by the Legal Aid Society and his next court date December 3, 2016. The cases were referred to the NCDA for prosecution by the NYS Department of Labor. Information received from employer correspondence showed an overlap between the defendant’s unemployment insurance benefits and their employment. These cases are being prosecuted by ADA April Montgomery of the Economic Crimes Bureau. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.

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