TRENTON – Division of Criminal Justice
Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that
the Major Financial Crimes Bureau has
charged a New Jersey state employee and
a North Jersey man with illegally collecting
more than $41,700 in Unemployment Insurance
(UI) benefits. The prosecutions resulted
from a cooperative investigative effort
by the Department
of Labor and Workforce Development
(DLWD)and the Division
of Criminal Justice.
to Director McKoy, the Division of Criminal
Justice - Major Financial Crimes Bureau
obtained separate State Grand Jury indictments
charging two individuals with theft by
deception and unsworn falsification to
authorities for bilking the New Jersey
UI benefits program out of more than $41,700.
Division of Criminal Justice and the Department
of Labor and Workforce Development have
established investigative protocols which
target deliberate and blatant attempts
by individuals to steal thousands of dollars
from the state unemployment fund,"
said Criminal Justice Director McKoy.
“Make no mistake, we intend to investigate,
prosecute, recoup and return dollars stolen
from our unemployment compensation programs."
Department of Labor and Workforce Development
uses a variety of methods to track down
those who abuse the system and fraudulently
obtain benefits," said Unemployment
Insurance Director David Socolow. "These
cases were first identified by DLWD investigators
by cross-matching employer-submitted wage
information against UI benefit payments;
pursuing leads from employer protests
of UI benefit charges; surveying employer
payroll records; and responding to alerts
from the staff of our local claims offices."
Feb. 23 State Grand Jury indictment charged
Valerie A. Sealey, 31, Phillip Avenue,
Trenton, Mercer County, with theft by
deception and unsworn falsification for
allegedly bilking the UI benefits program
out of $5,313. Sealey filed for UI benefits
in October, 1999 and collected on the
claim until April, 2000. An investigation
by the Division of Criminal Justice determined
that in October, 1999, Tri-State Employment
Services, Inc., a temporary employment
agency, placed Sealey at the New Jersey
Department of Community Affairs where
she worked on a temporary basis as a data
entry clerk until December of that year.
According to the indictment, Sealey was
hired by the Department of Community Affairs
in February, 2000. It is charged that
Sealey failed to notify the DLWD of the
earnings. Sealey is currently employed
by the State of New Jersey’s Office
of Administrative Law.
separate Feb. 23 indictment charged David
Correa, 34, Wallis Avenue, Jersey City,
Hudson County, with theft by deception
(3rd degree) and four counts of unsworn
falsification (4th degree). Correa filed
four separate UI benefits claims - March,
1999; March, 2000; March, 2001; and March,
2002. Throughout the time he was collecting
on the claims, Correa was intermittently
employed by Nabisco, Inc., yet never reported
the earnings to the DLWD. Consequently,
Correa fraudulently collected more than
Attorney General Denise Grugan presented
the Sealey case to the State Grand Jury.
The case has been referred to Mercer County.
DAG Mark C. Kurzawa presented the Correa
case. The case will be venued in Hudson
County. Both indictments were handed up
to Mercer County Superior Court Judge
Linda R. Feinberg, Superior Court Assignment
by deception is a third degree crime which
carries a maximum penalty of up to five
years in state prison and a fine of up
to $15,000, while unsworn falsification
to authorities is a fourth degree crime
which calls for up to 18 months in state
prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
indictment is merely an accusation. The
defendants are presumed innocent until
proven guilty in a court of law.