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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
July 6, 2005

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

 

Rachel Sacharow
609-984-1936

 

Division of Criminal Justice Charges Two Central Jersey Men with Illegally Collecting Unemployment Benefits
More than $44,800 Allegedly Bilked from Unemployment Program

TRENTON – Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that the Major Financial Crimes Bureau has charged two Monmouth County residents with illegally collecting more than $44,800 in Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits. The prosecutions result 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 two Monmouth County residents with theft by deception and unsworn falsification to authorities for bilking the New Jersey UI benefits program out of more than $44,800.

"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 who attempt 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 those who would 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 June 30 indictment charged Edward Perkinson, 45, Williamson Avenue, Hillside, with three counts of theft by deception and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities for allegedly collecting more than $25,000 in UI benefits to which he was not entitled. Perkinson filed three separate UI benefits claims - in December 1999, and then again in June of 2001 and 2002. While collecting on each of the claims, Perkinson allegedly worked as a laborer for several construction companies, but did not report any of the earnings to DLWD.

During the first claim, Perkinson was employed Structural Concepts in Ocean, Monmouth County and earned wages sporadically between December 1999 and April 2000. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice determined that on the same claim, Perkinson also worked for Integrated Construction in Belleville, Essex County during March and April 2000. It is charged that from July to August of that year, Perkinson worked at National Construction located in Frazer, PA.

The investigation further revealed that Perkinson was employed by Sloan & Co., West Caldwell, Essex County, from July through October 2001, while he was collecting on his second claim. During August 2001, Perkinson also earned wages from Epix in Woodbridge, Middlesex County.

After filing the third claim in June 2002, Perkinson again began working at Sloan & Co., this time from July to October 2002 and then intermittently between November 2002 and February 2003.

A second June 30 indictment charged Charles Burke, 41, US Highway 9, Howell, with two counts of theft by deception and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities for bilking the UI benefits program out of more than $19,600. Burke filed for and collected on two separate UI benefits claims - January 2000 and December 2002. While collecting on both claims, Burke was allegedly employed as a landscaper by American Lawn Sprinkler Co., Inc. in Morganville, Monmouth County, but failed to report the earnings to DLWD.

Deputy Attorney General Candy Cure presented both cases to the State Grand Jury. Both cases have been assigned to Monmouth 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.

A copy of this release and the related indictments can be found at www.njdcj.org.

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


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