DA: USPS mail carier stole unemployment benefits

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A Hicksville man was arrested Tuesday and charged with stealing more than $5,000 in taxpayer money by lying about his job as a seasonal mail carrier at the United States Postal Service to collect unemployment benefits, prosecutors said.

Frank Holden, 39, was charged with third-degree grand larceny. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

He pleaded not guilty and was released without bail, prosecutors said. He is due back in court Dec. 17.

His lawyer, Dennis O'Brien of Garden City, could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

"This defendant was fortunate enough to be employed at a time when so many hard-working people are still looking for work," said Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice. "For him to then steal taxpayer money by lying about his employment status is a slap in the face to every person who truly deserves these benefits."

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Prosecutors said Holden collected unemployment insurance benefits from the state Department of Labor between October 2010 and September 2011, verifying with the department that he was not working on a weekly basis.

However, between November 2010 and February 2011 and again between August 2011 and October 2011, Holden worked full time for the United States Postal Service as a seasonal mail carrier earning more than $21 per hour, prosecutors said. While working for the Postal Service, Holden stole $5,062 in undeserved unemployment insurance benefits, prosecutors said, using the stolen money to pay his rent and other personal expenses.

The case was referred to the district attorney's office by the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General and the Department of Labor, prosecutors said.

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