WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - A group of seasonal workers at the Century Golf Club in Purchase have been charged in connection to an unemployment insurance scam that net them more than $100,000 in stolen benefits while they were out of the country.
On Tuesday, acting Westchester County District Attorney James McCarty and New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Rearden announced that six suspects from the tri-state area had been arraigned and charged with multiple felonies following an unemployment insurance theft sweet.
Michael Gonzales, from Linden, N.J., Severino Livramento and Danilo Martinez, from Purchase, Edgardo Villanueva, from Cos Cob, Conn., Jose Noguera, from Yonkers and Ronilda De La Cruz, from Rye Brook, have each pleaded not guilty to felony charges of grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing for their roles in stealing $109,032 in benefits from the state.
According to McCarty and Rearden, all six defendants worked in various capacities seasonally at the Century Golf Club. Gonzales worked as a waiter; Livramento a laundry room attendant; Villanueva as a locker room attendant; Martinez as a golf course attendant; Noguera worked in the kitchen and De La Cruz was a housekeeper.
Between 2011 and 2015, each of the six claimed unemployment benefits from the Department of Labor by having others claim that they were in the country when they were actually overseas at the time, making them ineligible for unemployment benefits, prompting an investigation.
The New York State Department of Labor initiated the investigation, with an assist from the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, which revealed the unemployment scam.
All six defendants pleaded not guilty in Westchester County Court and released on their own recognizance after surrendering their passports. They are due back in court on Thursday, Dec. 8.