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RIAG: Three Plead Guilty to Unemployment Fraud

RI Attorney General Peter F. Neronha.

RIAGWARWICK, RI — Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin’s office announced three people have pleaded guilty to unemployment insurance benefit fraud, including a Warren woman working at a Warwick business.

“These three cases, and the more than 30 cases we have successfully prosecuted this year alone, show the value of working together to ensure greater accountability of our government programs,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, referencing the ongoing partnership between his office and Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, under the leadership of Director Scott Jensen.

Jennifer Sampson, 41, of Warren, pleaded nolo contendere before Superior Court Magistrate Patrick Burke to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting more than $16,000 unemployment insurance benefits while she was working.  Under the terms of the plea, Sampson was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to pay $16,068 restitution at a rate of no less than $134 per month.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on diverse dates between June 1, 2010 and Oct. 17, 2011, Sampson failed to accurately report her weekly earnings to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RI DLT) when she called in to the RI DLT Teleserve voice response system or through the internet-based system to authorize her weekly unemployment benefits.

While Sampson was collecting unemployment benefits, she was working for Automated Business Machines, Inc., in Warwick.

Anthony Griffin, 33, of Johnston, pleaded nolo contendere before Magistrate Burke to obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting more than $8,900 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was employed.  Under the terms of the plea, Griffin was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $8,923 in restitution at a rate of no less than $263 per month.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on diverse dates between April 19, 2014 and July 28, 2015, Griffin failed to accurately report his weekly earnings to the RI DLT when he called in to the RI DLT Teleserve voice response system or through the internet-based system to authorize his weekly unemployment benefits.   While Griffin was collecting unemployment benefits, he was working for Northeastern Tree Service in Cranston.

John Vittorioso, 29, of Cranston, pleaded nolo contendere before Magistrate Burke to obtaining money under false pretenses for collecting more than $11,800 in unemployment insurance benefits while he was employed.  Under the terms of the plea, Vittorioso was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to pay $11,848 in restitution at a rate of no less than $99 per month.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on diverse dates between May 5, 2012 and April 22, 2013, Vittorioso failed to accurately report his weekly earnings to the RI DLT when he called in to the RI DLT Teleserve voice response system  to authorize his weekly unemployment benefits.   While Vittorioso was collecting unemployment benefits, he was working for SMG RI Convention Center in Providence and a Subway shop in Smithfield.

The Office of Attorney General is assigned a prosecutor devoted exclusively to prosecuting fraud cases referred by the RI DLT involving unemployment insurance benefits fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, prevailing wage violations, and labor standards violations.  The prosecutor in this position is solely responsible for screening, charging, prosecuting, tracking, and reporting case results to RI DLT and the Office of Attorney General.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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