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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 6, 2014

El Salvadorian National Pleads Guilty To Theft Of Unemployment Insurance Benefits

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BOSTON – A Chelsea man pleaded guilty yesterday to fraudulently accepting over $46,000 in unemployment insurance benefits.

Oscar P. Valles-Lopez, a/k/a Oscar Valle, 44, pleaded guilty to a one-count Information charging him with mail fraud. U.S. District Court Judge George A. O’Toole scheduled sentencing for Feb. 13, 2014. Valles-Lopez is an El Salvadorian national who illegally reentered the United States in July 2003 after previously living in this country from 1996 to 2001. After working for several years under fraudulently obtained immigration papers, he lost his job in 2009. Although Valles-Lopez knew he was not entitled to unemployment insurance benefits without a valid work permit, he paid $400 for a false permit and made three claims for benefits in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Over the course of several years, Valles-Lopez cashed 111 unemployment checks totaling $46,218.

Valles-Lopez entered into a plea agreement with the government in which the parties agreed to recommend a sentence of one year of probation with the special condition that the first four months be served under home confinement. The defendant also agreed to restitution in the full amount of the benefits obtained under this scheme. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Cheryl Garcia, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, New York Regional Office; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Colonel Timothy P. Alben, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.

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Updated December 15, 2014