2004-07-30 / Community

Charged With Ripping Off State

An Arverne man has been charged with theft of Unemployment Insurance benefits in an investigation that found 12 Queens residents involved in that illegal activity.

Bobby Charles, 43, of Beach 57, a direct care worker for St. Christopher Ottille, has been charged with the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. According to Brown, Charles and the other 11 Queens residents have been charged with ripping off the New York State Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance benefits program of over $90,000 during an 18-month period between 2001 and 2003.

The defendants are alleged to have defrauded the system by claiming falsely that they were unemployed when, in fact, they were working full-time and collecting paychecks. The defendants include a former assistant director of a State University of New York research foundation, an administrative assistant for a financial securities corporation and a Bronx parochial high school teacher.

Brown said, “The defendants have been charged with ripping off the State’s unemployment insurance benefits program by receiving benefits to which they were not entitled. 

“Their actions erode a vital workplace protection that was created for the benefit of all workers,” Brown told reporters. “Even the state’s employers are impacted because of increased costs.”

The defendants have been charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and face prison terms of up to seven years, if convicted.  

Brown said that allegations were referred to the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau in June 2004 after a routine audit by the New York State Department of Labor of the State’s Unemployment Insurance program turned up a number of irregularities.

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