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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:

August 1, 2006

Office of The Attorney General
- Zulima V. Farber, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Gregory A. Paw, Director

 

Division of Criminal Justice
609-984-1936

 
Division of Criminal Justice Charges Middlesex County Hotel Worker and Two Others with Defrauding State Unemployment Program Out of More Than $55,500


TRENTON – Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that a Middlesex County Hotel Worker and two others have been indicted on charges of defrauding the Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UI) fund and Division of Workers’ Compensation out of a total of more than $55,500. The indictments resulted from a cooperative investigation by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Division of Criminal Justice - Major Financial Crimes Bureau.

“These indictments charge the defendants with illegally collecting thousands of dollars in benefits to which they were not entitled,” Attorney General Farber said. “Our goal is to identify those who cheat the system, prosecute them and recover the money taken from the UI benefits trust fund.”

“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 Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development David J. Socolow. “These cases were first identified by labor department 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.”

According to Director Paw, a state grand jury indictment charged Arnaldo Medrano, 44, whose last know address was in Somerset, with two counts of theft by deception and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities for fraudulently obtaining more than $24,850 from the state’s UI benefits fund. Medrano filed for UI benefits in November of 2000 and again in November 2001. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice determined that during both claims, Medrano worked as a banquet server at the Hilton Hotels in East Brunswick, but under-reported his wages to the labor department, thus fraudulently enabling himself to continue receiving UI benefits.

A second indictment charged James D. Bonyoczeczky, 36, of Hamilton, Mercer County, with two counts of theft by deception and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities. Bonyoczeczky filed two claims for UI benefits, in January 2001 and January 2002. According to the indictment, while collecting on the claims, Bonyoczeczky worked as a mason for nearly a dozen construction companies throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia, but did not report the wages to the labor department. As a result, Bonyoczeczky received more than $19,140 in UI benefits to which he was not entitled.

A third indictment charged Vincent Ferretti, 45, of Glassboro, with theft by deception and unsworn falsification to authorities. The indictment alleges that Ferretti filed for UI benefits in January 2001 and subsequently began working as a roofer for A.F. Callan & Company, Inc., located in Cherry Hill. By not reporting his earnings to the labor department, Ferretti stole more than $11,590 in UI benefits.

All three indictments were handed up to Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg in Mercer County on July 28. 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. 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. The indictments are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Deputy Attorney General Candy Cure presented all three cases to the state grand jury. State Investigators Gary O’Brien and Lynn Patrick Fitzgerald coordinated the investigations. The indictments are available on the Division of Criminal Justice Web Page at www.njdcj.org.


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