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By: Barry Miller
A woman charged with bilking the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (“Department”) of more than $240,000 went to work for the Department in April after getting out of prison—having served her time for identity fraud.
Federal officials had charged the woman and her husband with conspiracy to commit wire fraud against the Department. The couple were scheduled to appear in court December 31.
According to the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, the wife changed claim information for herself and her husband, resulting in payments of more than $240,000. This was two months after she had started working at the Department and “shortly after her release from federal prison following a conviction for aggravated identity theft.”
A Massachusetts television station asked why someone with a history of fraud had been hired and granted access to the Department’s computer system. A spokesperson responded that the Department “continues to cooperate with this investigation and cannot comment until that investigation is complete.” According to a Boston Herald columnist, the woman identified her previous employer as the “FCI (Federal Correction Institution) in Hazelton, WV.”
In related news, the same TV station reported that fraud was “bogging down” the Department, which had found more than 171,000 claims to be fraudulent, and which has already recovered more than $242 million from claims “found to be fraudulent.”
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Barry Miller at [email protected].