Thursday, February 7, 2019

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Dutchess DA fights welfare fraud

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady's office has received praise from New York State for fraud prosecutions.

"On behalf of the Office of Special Investigations, I applaud your office for returning over $103,731 in restitution to the New York State Department of Labor in 2018," said Vince Coyne in a letter to Grady earlier this year. 

Coyne is the director of Fraud Investigations for the state Department of Labor.  Grady's office has returned over $1.1 million recovered by perpetrators of unemployment fraud since 2012. 

The Dutchess County DA is one of 10 counties out of 62 in New York to exceed the $1 million mark as a result of criminal prosecutions of offenders who submitted false unemployment insurance claims.

“This recognition is the result of the hard work and dedication of Senior Assistant DA Andrea Long, who was the lead prosecutor in these cases," said Grady.

"Unemployment insurance fraud undermines the very basis of our business community and my office will continue to work closely with the Department of Labor and ensure that those individuals who commit such fraud are held accountable and made to return the monies stolen."

The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund is the financial bloodline for those individuals who have lost their jobs and who are pursuing new employment, said Coyne.  "Prosecuting individuals who illegally secured unemployment insurance benefits and restoring the restitution to the trust fund, allows future unemployed claimants to receive weekly financial aid.  Your prosecutions also send a powerful message that your office is determined to protect the trust fund, the employers, and taxpayers of Dutchess County."

Grady also noted that his office has recovered more than $290,000 in restitution for welfare fraud cases prosecuted by his office during 2018. 

To continue assisting the Department of Social Services in prosecuting welfare fraud cases, Grady's office has obtained a $169,145 grant from the state Office of Children and Family Services.  The funding will help offset the costs associated with welfare/Medicaid fraud analysis, consulting and prosecution.
 


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