Orange County District Attorney’s Office Receives “Certificates of Merit”
for Recoveries in Unemployment Fraud Cases
Orange County Among Top Ten Counties in State in Restitution Recoveries
on Unemployment Fraud Cases in 2018
Orange County District Attorney Recovered Over One Million Dollars
in Illegally Obtained Unemployment Insurance
On October 4, 2018, representatives of the New York State Department of Labor awarded “Certificates of Merit” to District Attorney David M. Hoovler and five Orange County assistant district attorneys for “successfully prosecuting unemployment insurance fraud in Orange County, resulting in the return of over one million dollars to the Department of Labor Unemployment Trust Fund.” The awards were presented by Milan Bhatt, the Department of Labor’s Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Worker Protection. In addition to recognizing District Attorney Hoovler, the Department of Labor recognized Chief Assistant District Attorney Christopher Borek, Senior Assistant District Attorney Kerry Kolek, Assistant District Attorney Tanja Beemer, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Ross, and Assistant District Attorney David Kempinger for their success in handling unemployment insurance fraud cases.
During the presentation, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Bhatt noted that Orange County has returned over one million dollars to the Unemployment Trust Fund since District Attorney Hoovler took office.
In 2017, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office had the eighth-highest recovery of fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance benefits of the 62 New York State district attorney’s offices, recovering more than $187,000. That statistic is remarkable, in that Orange County is the twelfth-largest county, by population, in New York.
The District Attorney’s Office has prioritized crimes that are the result of fraud committed against the government. Unemployment insurance fraud cases are no exception, and those cases are handled under the auspices of the designated Crimes Against Revenue Program (CARP) Assistant District Attorney.
In Orange County, most unemployment insurance fraud investigations are initially referred by the State Department of Labor to the State Police. The State Police, in turn, conduct their investigation in consultation with the District Attorney’s Office, which offers advice and guidance about what additional evidence is needed to enhance the cases. After the cases are presented to the District Attorney’s Office, the assigned assistant district attorney works closely with investigators from the Department of Labor. The collaborative efforts of all three agencies often result in viable prosecutions.
“The DOL is appreciative of the outstanding partnership that has developed between Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler and our Office of Special Investigations — the recovery of $1.2 million is commendable,” said Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “Unemployment Insurance benefits are an important safety net for all New Yorkers. When unscrupulous individuals game the system, it affects everyone, increasing costs for businesses across the State.”
“My office is dedicated to combating frauds that effect taxpayers’ wallets, such as unemployment insurance fraud,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “I am grateful to all who contributed to our success in recovering public money that has been taken through fraud, and pledge to continue those efforts. Fraud prosecutions are most successful when agencies work collaboratively. Whether it is working with the New York State Police and New York State Department of Labor to prosecute unemployment insurance fraud or working with the Department of Social Services and Orange County Sheriff’s Office to combat welfare fraud, cooperation between agencies has been essential to our having obtained the outstanding results we have had so far. I thank the State Police and the Department of Labor for all the assistance they have provided to our office in the investigation and prosecution of unemployment insurance fraud cases.”