A Long Island certified public accountant was accused Thursday of using a fake identity and false employment data to unlawfully obtain $207,000 in unemployment insurance, welfare and Social Security, state officials announced.
Abraham Grossman — also known as Abrahan Grossman or Alan Grossman — 76, of Chase Commons, Yaphank, was charged federally with theft of public money and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, according to State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott and the state Labor Department.
He was arraigned Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip. Grossman pleaded not guilty and posted a $200,000 bond pending future court appearances.
Reached at his home Thursday evening, Grossman said he is innocent and will fight the charges in court.
Grossman is alleged to have created a false identity by obtaining a second Social Security number and New York state driver’s license under an assumed name, said officials with the state Labor Department’s Office of Special Investigation.
The scheme started in February 2012 and continued to the present day, officials said.
“From food stamps and Social Security to home heating aid and unemployment benefits, this defendant used a litany of bogus employment and fake identity schemes to horde government benefits meant to help those who are truly in need,” said Scott.
Authorities said Grossman applied for and received unemployment insurance in both New York and New Jersey under his real and his fake identities.
They say his eligibility hinged on his alleged loss of employment from businesses that no longer existed — and that had never declared wages for Grossman.
They say he also failed to report earnings from his work as a CPA and illegally obtained $124,000 in unemployment insurance benefits, $63,000 in Social Security retirement payments and $20,744 in food stamps, home energy assistance program aid and Medicaid.
Authorities said that while taking money meant for the indigent, he also owned a second home in Hallandale Beach, Florida, just south of Fort Lauderdale.
The fraud was detected by the Department of Labor’s Major Case Unit.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and federal investigators assisted in the investigation.
“When unscrupulous individuals attempt to defraud the unemployment insurance system, they are committing a crime against the people and businesses of New York State,” said acting New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Benefits are meant for those who have lost work through no fault of their own.”