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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
November 21, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

 

Rachel Sacharow
609-984-1936

 
Division of Criminal Justice Charges Eight Individuals with Illegally Collecting More than $119,700 in Unemployment Benefits
Atlantic City Board of Education Security Guard Among Those Indicted....

TRENTON – Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that the Major Financial Crimes Bureau has charged eight individuals with illegally collecting more than $119,700 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 obtained separate State Grand Jury indictments charging three people with theft by deception and unsworn falsification to authorities for bilking the New Jersey UI benefits program out of more than $119,700.

"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 Nov. 17 State Grand Jury indictment charged Brian Rambough, 48, Westwood Court, Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County, with two counts of theft by deception and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities. It is charged that, after filing two separate UI Benefits claims - one in November 1999 and the other in November 2000, Rambough failed to notify DLWD that he was earning wages. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice determined that during the first claim, Rambough worked as a security guard for the Atlantic City Board of Education and for Pinkerton Security, located in Marlton, Burlington County. The investigation further revealed that, during the second claim, he again worked for more than six months for the Atlantic City Board of Education. As a result of these jobs, Rambough collected more than $11,700 in UI benefits to which he was not entitled.

A second indictment charged Terri Colburn, 44, Durling Way, Hillsborough, Somerset County, with three counts of theft by deception and one count of unsworn falsification for stealing more than $27,100 in UI benefits. The indictment alleges that Colburn filed three UI benefit claims between March 2000 and August 2002. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice determined that, while she was collecting on the claims, Colburn worked for several different employers based throughout the United States, including Fort Lauderdale, FL and St. Louis, MO.

A third indictment filed by the Division of Criminal Justice charged Dane Bilardo, 49, Nejecho Drive, Brick, Ocean County, with two counts of theft by deception and one count of unsworn falsification. According to the indictment, that while collecting on UI benefits claims that he submitted in January of 2000 and 2001, Bilardo worked for more than 20 employers throughout New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice determined that by not informing DLWD of his employment, Bilardo bilked more than $$11,100 from the state program.

An additional Nov. 17 State Grand Jury indictment charged Robert Gary, 38, formerly of Asbury Park, Monmouth County, with two counts of theft by deception and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities for stealing more than $10,400 in UI benefits. Gary filed a claim for UI benefits in March 2000 and another one in May 2001. It is charged that while collecting on both claims, Gary worked as a laborer at Crossing Construction Co., Inc. in Washington Crossing, PA.

The Division of Criminal Justice - Major Financial Crimes recently obtained additional State Grand Jury indictments charging the following defendants with theft by deception and unsworn falsification to authorities:

  • State v. Anthony J. Hughes, 50, Somerset Street, New Brunswick, Middlesex County. Charged with collecting more than $21,000 in UI benefits to which he was not entitled.
  • Barry G. Leeks, 42, Lombardy Place, Maplewood, Essex County. Charged with stealing more than $20,000 in UI benefits by not reporting to the DLWD that he was employed while collecting on three claims.
  • Luis Guzman, 41, Caralee Boulevard, Orlando, FL. Charged with failing to report to the DLWD that he was employed by four employers while collecting on a UI benefits claim, subsequently receiving more than $12,000 in UI benefits to which he was not entitled.
  • State v. Martin J. Hornlein, 31, Main Street, Spotswood, Middlesex County. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice determined Hornlein was employed while collecting on three UI benefits claims and therefore was paid more than $9,000 in UI benefits to which he was not entitled.

Deputy Attorney General Candy Cure presented the following cases to the State Grand Jury: Rambough (Atlantic County), Colburn (Somerset County ), Bilardo (Ocean County), and Gary (Monmouth County). DAG Denise Grugan presented the Hughes and Hornlein cases (both Middlesex County), as well as the Leeks case (Essex County). DAG Edward Werner presented the Guzman case (Mercer 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.

The indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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