Written by The Westbury Times Staff Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00
A joint investigation between the Nassau County District Attorney and New York State Department of Labor has led to criminal charges against 17 Long Islanders, including three Westbury residents, accused of stealing approximately $270,000 in unemployment insurance benefits.
According to the DA's office, the defendants all failed to report employment as required by Department of Labor regulations, thereby fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits. They were arrested over the past month and are all charged with a top count of
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, which includes a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
The defendants were investigated by the Department of Labor’s Office of Special Investigations, which then referred the cases to DA Kathleen Rice’s office for evaluation and, in some cases, arrest and prosecution.
“Unemployment insurance is meant to help honest workers get through hard times while they look for jobs, but these defendants are charged with abusing that trust and assistance by cheating the system,” Rice said. “Thankfully the Department of Labor caught the scams and we’ll work together to prosecute these cases and return fairness to New York taxpayers.”
Three Westbury residents were arrested during the insurance fraud sweep. Terry McCrimmon, 48, was arrested Nov. 26. According to the DA’s Office, McCrimmon collected approximately $15,455 in unemployment insurance benefits while allegedly employed between
April 2009 and March 2010. Alejandrino Ortiz, 45, was arrested Nov. 22. According to the DA’s Office, he collected approximately $19,591 while allegedly employed between September 2009 and November 2010. Tiffany Pettway, 29, was arrested Dec. 5. According to the DA’s Office, Pettway collected approximately $7,746 in unemployment insurance benefits while allegedly employed between June 2009 and May 2010.
Assistant District Attorney William Jorgenson is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau Chief Marshall Trager of DA Rice’s office.