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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
January 14, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney GeneralDivision of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director

 

Rachel Sacharow
609-
984-1936

 
 

Division of Criminal Justice Charges Three New Jersey Men with Illegally Collecting Unemployment Benefits
More Than $23,600 Allegedly Bilked From Unemployment Program



TRENTON – Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that the Major Financial Crimes Bureau has charged three New Jersey men with illegally collecting more than $23,600 in Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The prosecutions resulted from a cooperative investigative effort by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD)and the Division of Criminal Justice.

According to Director McKoy, the Division of Criminal Justice - Major Financial Crimes Bureau obtained separate State Grand Jury indictments charging three individuals with theft by deception and unsworn falsification to authorities for bilking the New Jersey UI benefits program out of more than $23,600.

"The Division of Criminal Justice and the Department of Labor and Workforce Development have established investigative protocols which target deliberate and blatant attempts by individuals to steal thousands of dollars from the state unemployment fund," said Criminal Justice Director McKoy. “Make no mistake, we intend to investigate, prosecute, recoup and return dollars stolen from our unemployment compensation programs."

"The Department of Labor and Workforce Development uses a variety of methods to track down those who abuse the system and fraudulently obtain benefits," said Unemployment Insurance Director David Socolow. "These cases were first identified by DLWD 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 the staff of our local claims offices."

A Jan. 11 State Grand Jury indictment charged Milton L. Smith, 47, 1302 Emerson Street, NW, Washington, DC, with theft by deception and unsworn falsification for bilking the UI benefits program out of $11,596. Smith filed for UI benefits in July, 2001 and collected on this claim until January, 2002. It is alleged that the defendant received approximately $10,000 per month for his work as a pipe inspector for the firm Analytical Quality & Monitoring, located in West Orange, Essex County, while collecting the UI benefits. -more-

A separate Jan. 11 State Grand Jury indictment charged Freddie A. Tyler, 36, Van Nostrand Avenue, Jersey City, Hudson County, with theft by deception and two counts of unsworn falsification for allegedly fraudulently collecting more than $9,380 in UI benefits. Tyler filed for and collected on three separate UI benefits claims - the first was from August until December, 1999, the second, August, 2000 until February 2001; and the third from August until November, 2001. The investigation determined that for much of the time, Tyler was employed by Laidlaw Transit Inc., located in Lawrenceville, Mercer County, and was earning regular weekly paychecks. According to the indictment, Tyler failed to report the earnings to the DLWD.

A third Jan. 11 State Grand Jury indictment charged Antoine Andre, 35, Salem Street, Newark, Essex County, with theft by deception and unsworn falsification. It is charged that Andre filed for UI benefits in October, 1999 and collected on the claim until April, 2000. According to the indictment, Andre began working as a porter at Columbus Hospital in Newark in January, 2000. By not reporting the employment to the DLWD, Andre allegedly collected than $2,654 in UI benefits.

Deputy Attorney General Ed Werner presented the Smith case, which was referred to Mercer County. DAG Mark Kurzawa presented the Andre and Tyler cases. Andre’s case will be venued in Essex County, and Tyler’s case was assigned to Hudson County.

Theft by deception is a third degree crime which carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while unsworn falsification to authorities is a fourth degree crime which calls for up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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