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Swampscott Man Arraigned on Fraud

The man allegedly collected more than $13,000 in fraudulent benefits while working.

 

A Swampscott man was among five people charged in connection with collecting more than $55,000 in unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits while continuing to work, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced.  

Ronald Ellison, Jr., 48, of Swampscott, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (38 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, Ellison applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUAbetween October 2009 and July 2010. During that time period, Ellison was allegedly working and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 38 weeks that Ellison collected unemployment benefits he allegedly represented to the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, that he was able to work, and that he was seeking work. Authorities allege that Ellison collected more than $13,000 in fraudulent benefits while working and collecting. 

Ellison was arraigned Tuesday in Boston Municipal Court where he pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Ellison is due back in court on May 15, for a pre-trial conference. Judge Sally Kelly presided over the arraignments.     

District Court complaints were filed against the defendants on January 24 in Boston Municipal Court. Reyes and McDonough were individually arraigned Wednesday in Boston Municipal Court where each pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. Reyes is due back in court on March 27, for a pre-trial conference. McDonough is due back in court on April 19, for a pre-trial conference.

The cases are the result of investigations referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Unemployment Assistance (EOLWD\DUA) and the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB). 

The following defendants were also arraigned:

Medgine Dufrene, 28, of Mattapan, is charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities Dufrene suffered a work related injury and began receiving temporary total disability benefits through her insurer in June 2011 and subsequently certified that she was not working. In January 2012, Dufrene’s insurer learned that she was allegedly working for another employer while collecting benefits. Authorities allege that between June 2011 and January 2012, Dufrene fraudulently received more than $7,000 in temporary total disability benefits while continuing to work.

Michael McLaughlin, 49, of Hull, is charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities McLaughlin suffered a work related injury and began receiving temporary total disability benefits through his insurer in February 2010 and subsequently certified that he was not working. In June 2010, both McLaughlin’s insurance company and the IFB received tips that he was employed. Authorities allege that between July 2010 and October 2010, McLaughlin fraudulently received more than $4,000 in temporary total disability benefits while continuing to work.

 Heather McDonough, 40, of Quincy, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (25 counts) and Larceny Over $250. According to authorities, McDonough applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUAbetween September 2008 and April 2010. During part of the time, McDonough was allegedly working full time and failed to disclose her employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 25 weeks that McDonough collected unemployment benefits she allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that she was not working, but that she was able to work and was available for work. Authorities allege McDonough collected more than $15,000 in fraudulent benefits while working and collecting. 

Joshua Reyes, 29, of Springfield, is charged with Unemployment Fraud (43 counts) and Larceny Over $250 (2 counts). According to authorities, Reyes applied for and received unemployment benefits from EOLWD\DUA on two separate occasions between October 2007 and July 2009. During the relevant time periods, Reyes was allegedly working full time and failed to disclose his employment status to EOLWD\DUA. For each of the 43 weeks that Reyes fraudulently collected unemployment benefits he allegedly notified the EOLWD\DUA that he was not working, but that he was able to work and was available for work. Authorities allege Reyes collected more than $16,000 while working and collecting. 

AG Coakley’s Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division works to protect consumers and the integrity of the insurance system by investigating and prosecuting those who commit fraud against all types of insurers, including the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation system. 

The prosecution of insurance fraud helps prevent the increase in premiums and taxes that are the result of fraudulent insurance claims. In 2012, the IUFD obtained more than $1,647,000 in restitution orders in 32 matters.

This information was provided by the Attorney General's Office.

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