A former Fairfield resident was arrested today and charged with collecting Unemployment Compensation benefits to which she was not entitled.
ARLENE V. ESPINAL, age 32, who now resides in Atlanta, Georgia, was charged with one count of Larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community and one count of Unemployment Compensation Fraud.
The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Unemployment Compensation Fraud Unit in the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office following a complaint by the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL).
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Espinal collected approximately $24,771 in unemployment benefits over a span of two years when, in fact, she was employed.
Espinal appeared in Superior Court, G.A. No. 15, New Britain, today where, after making a restitution payment in the amount of $30,000, which includes interest and penalties, she was released on a $10,000 non-surety bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for August 9, 2013.
The Unemployment Compensation Fraud Unit was established under a partnership between the Division of Criminal Justice and the Department of Labor to investigate and prosecute alleged fraud in the unemployment compensation program. It is financed with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Labor through the CDOL.
Larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community is a Class B Felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. Unemployment Compensation Fraud in excess of $500 is a Class D Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
The charges are merely accusations and Ms. Espinal is presumed innocent unless and until found guilty.