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Rockland DA Says 25 People Stole $160K In Unemployment Benefits

District Attorney Thomas Zugibe
District Attorney Thomas Zugibe Photo Credit: Office of District Attorney/North Rockland

ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. – Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe announced his office had charged 25 people with illegally collecting unemployment benefits worth more than $160,000.

The alleged thefts occurred between 2010-15.

Zugibe said: “The defendants are accused of trying to scam the system by collecting unemployment benefits to which they were not entitled because they were, in fact, living in a foreign country. These benefits are a vital lifeline to those who lose their jobs.”

The defendants allegedly applied for the benefits via the Internet or by telephone, while falsely claiming to be living in New York. They were charged with third-degree grand larceny; if convicted, they face sentenceds up to seven years in prison.

Investigators report three men received the most money from the alleged scam.

Santiago Liz, 47, Pomona, allegedly applied for and collected $22,179 in unemployment benefits while in the Dominican Republic between January 2011 and March 2015.

Juan Martinez Rodriguez, 58, Haverstraw, allegedly applied for and collected $16,785 in unemployment benefits while in the Dominican Republic between December 2010 and March 2015.

Nilson Blanco, 43, Haverstraw, allegedly applied for and collected $14,830 in unemployment benefits while in the Dominican Republic between January 2011 and March 2015.

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