ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. - A West Haverstraw man is facing multiple felony charges after allegedly receiving thousands of dollars in unemployment insurance benefits while he was not even living in the country.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe announced that 48-year-old Elidio Garcia has been charged with felony counts of grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing after receiving more than $12,000 in unlawful benefits over a four-year stretch.
According to Zugibe, Garcia filed paperwork with the New York State Department of Labor claiming he was living stateside and was willing and able to work. A subsequent investigation determined that Garcia was not in the country during several periods of time.
“Those who falsely apply for and receive Unemployment Insurance benefits cheat legitimately unemployed workers and increase the insurance rates paid by employers,” Zugibe said. “Along with our partners in law enforcement, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office will remain aggressive in bringing individuals who defraud the UI system to justice.”
Garcia was arraigned in the Village of West Haverstraw Court and released on his own recognizance. He is due back to answer the charges next week.
“There are many Americans who may fall on hard times and use unemployment benefits to get back on their feet. Garcia allegedly took advantage of the very system meant to help people,” Angel Melendez, special agent-in-charge of HSI New York stated. “It is a shameful act and it is with law enforcement partnerships and collaborative efforts that we are able to bring criminals like Garcia to justice.”
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