According to authorities, a Beachwood woman posed as other people, none of whom ever worked for her company, as a way to collect more than $345,000 in fraudulent unemployment benefits.
The 35-year-old woman ran the scam for approximately three years before she was eventually caught. Recently, she pleaded guilty to the charge of second-degree theft by deception.
In the past, the woman was the owner of Compassionate Financial Services. She used her position to file online benefits applications for more than 20 people, including relatives and past clients. As a result, she was able to receive 27 unemployment insurance claims.
From the time period of September 2012 to June 2015, she collected more than 500 payments totaling approximately $345,000.
For now, the woman can do nothing more than wait for her Dec. 2 sentencing hearing to arrive. With a plea agreement in place, prosecutors are set to recommend a prison term of eight years. Along with this, she is expected to pay back the money.
The New Jersey Attorney General added the following:
"We'll continue to work with the Department of Labor to put swindlers like Rivera in prison and protect this vital safety net for New Jersey's workers."
While it's good to see the state of New Jersey cracking down on people who break the law, it's important to note that being too aggressive has its drawbacks as well.
For example, taking this stance can lead to a situation in which a person is charged with a crime that he or she did not commit. As a result, the person's life can change forever, despite the fact that they did nothing wrong.
Source: Asbury Park Press, "Beachwood woman's jobless scam took in $345K," Katie Park, Sep. 19, 2016