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New York State Department of Labor

IRS Employee Arrested on Charges of Unemployment Insurance Fraud, Social Services Fraud

Obtained Benefits at Expense of State, County Taxpayers

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Schenectady, NY (February 27, 2015) -

The New York State Department of Labor, Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office and the Schenectady County Department of Social Services today announced that Internal Revenue Service employee Cynthia A. Bucci, 62, of Pattersonville, NY, was arrested yesterday on charges of Unemployment Insurance and Social Services Fraud. She is accused of fraudulently receiving $3,740 in Unemployment Insurance benefits and $4,135 in Social Services benefits.

“Unemployment Insurance benefits are in place to help individuals in their time of need,” said Acting Labor Commissioner Mario J. Musolino. “We won’t tolerate New Yorkers who steal from their neighbors and friends.  Make no mistake -- that’s what anyone who commits fraud is doing.  I applaud the diligent investigators from the Department of Labor and our partners for their continuing efforts to prevent fraud and halt it when it occurs.”

Ms. Bucci faces two counts of Grand Larceny, two counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing and two counts of Falsifying Business Records
 
The New York State Department of Labor discovered the fraud and alerted the Treasury Inspector General for Tax and Administration (TIGTA) who provided IRS records to determine the size of the theft.  

Additionally, authorities were alerted that she may have been abusing Schenectady County Department of Social Services daycare benefits as well.  The case was referred to the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office.

“Unemployment Insurance benefits exist to help people manage their lives while seeking new employment, not to be abused through fraud.  Such activity damages the integrity of the program,” said Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney. “It is through good interagency collaboration, such as the efforts in this case, that we maximize the law enforcement response we need to reduce and deter such fraudulent and deceptive criminal activity in our community.” 

“This is a great example of different levels of government working together to weed out fraud, waste and abuse,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature.  “Schenectady County will continue to be vigilant to make sure that those residents who need assistance receive it, but that those who try to abuse the system will be caught and prosecuted.”

Ms. Bucci was eligible to receive daycare services from Schenectady County Department of Social Services for a child in her custody contingent upon her continued employment. Ms. Bucci claimed to be employed full time, but a review of time and attendance records from the IRS confirmed that she was not working the schedule that she claimed and was therefore not entitled to the daycare services she made use of.

The New York State Department of Labor operates one of the largest Unemployment Insurance systems in the country. In addition to administering the entire system, the Department of Labor is responsible for preventing and stopping fraud and ensuring the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. When the Trust Fund is forced to pay out because of a fraudulent claim, employers have to pay more -- and that means consumers will pay more as well. It is in everyone's best interest to stop Unemployment Insurance fraud.

The state is a national leader in the prevention and investigation of Unemployment Insurance benefits fraud. In 2012, New York State was selected to create a single Unemployment Insurance National Integrity Center of Excellence by the United States Department of Labor. The Center is identifying, developing and piloting new strategies and tools to combat improper payment and fraud on a national level.

Anyone with information about possible Unemployment Insurance fraud should call the Department of Labor's anonymous toll-free fraud hotline at (888) 598-2077 or visit www.labor.ny.gov/fraud.

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