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Long IslandCrime

Nassau DA: 7 arrested in theft of unemployment benefits

Seven Nassau County residents have been arrested after collecting unemployment benefits from the state Department of Labor while they were employed, prosecutors said.

One of the seven, Sherill Goodson, 50, of Hempstead, collected nearly $35,000 during a three-year period between November 2011, and March 2014, prosecutors said.

Each of them collected thousands of dollars in illegal payments, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

“Unemployment benefits are intended to help workers through hard times while they look for employment, but these defendants allegedly stole benefits while they were employed,” Singas said in a statement released Wednesday.

In each case, “information received from employer correspondence showed an overlap between the defendant’s unemployment insurance benefits and their employment,” prosecutors said in a news release.

The arrests followed an ongoing investigation based on referrals from the state Department of Labor.

“The Department of Labor is committed to ensuring the integrity of the system, detecting fraud quickly and referring cases to our partners in law enforcement,” state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said in a statement.

The six other defendants were identified as Dominick Acquino, 31, of Long Beach; Christopher McCormick, 34, of Long Beach; Justice Fells, 39, of Hempstead; Michael O’Connor, 57, of East Rockaway; Curtis McFadden, 48, of Massapequa; and Kenneth Robinson, 48, whose current address was not immediately known but who lived in Hempstead when the alleged fraud was committed.

Each was charged with one count of third-degree grand larceny and with offering a false instrument for filing. Both charges are felonies, Singas said.

Their cases are pending.


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